BWT is one of the most experienced organisations in the Low Pressure Ducting Systems sector of the aerospace industry. We have engineering and manufacturing facilities which meet and exceed the demanding requirements of its customers, providing high quality, cost-effective products in the shortest possible lead-time.
BWT’s 40 Years of Expertise
BWT specialises in low pressure ducting for the Environment Control System (ECS). Simply put, what we do is create ducting systems to allow air to be transported throughout the cabin, the cockpit and various unpressurised zones in the aircraft, such as the cargo bay or electronic equipment areas.
BWT doesn’t cover just one aspect of the manufacturing process, but the whole system from start to finish. At BWT we are able to design, manufacture, test and validate every one of the parts within the system.
We also have the versatility to design and manufacture on a part-by-part basis, or create a part for a whole system, should a customer require this.
BWT’s Capabilities for Low Pressure Ducting Systems
Our team specialises in:
- CATIA modelling
- CAD/CAM Technology
- Flowmaster2 flow analysis
- FEM Analysis
- CFD Analysis
BWT’s Investment in Analysis and Testing
By virtue of our commitment to continuous improvement, BWT has been a market leader in Low Pressure Ducting Systems for over 40 years. The latest development in our processes is the use of Analysis and Testing to optimise system performance.
BWT has been investing in new technology, in the development of its workforce and in improving its existing work methods. The use of analysis and testing to optimise system performance is a new set of skills for BWT, allowing us to answer many engineering challenges.
Our arsenal of capabilities currently includes CFD analysis – a great asset that helps optimise performance prior to building each part. From a testing point of view, BWT’s facilities include an environmental conditioning chamber that allows us to perform freezing cold and extremely high temperature tests, as well as complete rig testing including temperature assessment.
Prior to this testing capability, all assessments happened at room temperature. Nowadays however, with this capability to manipulate the environmental temperature, we can provide an accurate assessment of a product’s performance, which further assists with qualification, prototyping and validation.
At the same time we have the ability to perform component displacement testing. BWT’s elastomeric products are required to demonstrate they can be flexed and stretched numerous times over their lifespan and in our HQ in Macclesfield, Cheshire, we have the facilities to test for however many times is required. This testing ability also helps with R&D in order to improve the reliability of the elastomeric.
Thanks to our analysis and testing capabilities, BWT has the flexibility to really stretch system performance and understand capability outside the system envelope; we could claim that this is what makes BWT unique.
Efficient Manufacturing with Lower Costs
An additional reason why BWT’s range of products is different and more advantageous than anything else, is the increased weight reduction thanks to our thermoplastic manufacturing methods. A thermoplastic composite is lighter than a thermoset composite (a different kind of product which BWT can also offer). BWT’s expertise is, of course, in creating parts in all shapes and sizes at a fraction of the cost of a thermoset product – which would not only be more costly but also limited in capability.
BWT’s thermoplastic method help keep costs low: a component starts off as a soft, wet adhesive that is transformed into a dry finished product. This thermoplastic wet lay-up process doesn’t require temperature or pressure in order to consolidate or cure the part, as the process happens at room temperature and ambient conditions – without expensive investments in ovens, autoclaves and pressurised airlines for the creation of a vacuum. The next step is to paint up the composite, leave it to dry in ambient conditions and finish the required product. In addition to that, BWT’s tooling costs are traditionally 40-50% lower than a thermoset equivalent tool, thus avoiding any unnecessary non-recurring costs.
Adopting Additive Manufacturing for Best Results
Additive Manufacturing (AM) is a product within our Low Pressure Ducting System. Working with AM has allowed BWT to develop in-house tooling and add to our product range for both top level and sub-assembly levels.
AM allows BWT to produce tools that are more ergonomically friendly as well as more operator friendly, making our manufacturing process both simpler, easier and more efficient.
AM allows us to construct more complex shapes than would ordinarily be possible using conventional manufacturing techniques, making our product range more diverse, lighter and cost effective.
Features can be incorporated into the composite structure, reducing the need to use adhesives to bond sections or subassemblies together, which also reduces the potential final weight.
As an industry, AM is diverse, dynamic and evolving at a very fast pace. At BWT’s facilities we have developed a small sub-component, a low-level launch application which we have de-risked to the highest possible degree, which has given us great insight on how to best utilise AM to bring benefits to us and our customers. BWT are currently exploring further opportunities within our product range, working with OEM’s and customers that help delve into new requirements, in order to demonstrate a new sustainable, reliable range of products.
Sustainability at the Forefront
All motor transport and air management systems, whether an airplane, an automotive or a train, benefit from lightweight components, because less weight means less energy to move from one point to another.
As responsible members of the green, sustainable world we live in, all of us at BWT are keen to ensure that our material range yields products that deliver the performance and reliability required but are also ultra-lightweight - a key driver in aerospace and a high priority subject in today’s climate of sustainability and energy efficiency.
BWT’s Strong Engineering Capabilities
BWT’s highly motivated, multi-skilled and flexible workforce is dedicated to exceeding our customers’ expectations for high quality products delivered on time, to cost and to weight.
BWT is AS9100 Rev D approved and operates a widely approved and intensely audited Quality Management system. Development work is carried out within this framework and all products go through rigorous testing and approvals before entering production and subsequently service.
BWT’s infrastructure is made up of Engineering, Technical, R&D, Tooling and Development teams who are dedicated in the creation of bespoke parts in a system level integration, as well as delivering engineering test support, qualification tests, flow balance testing, material assessment and process verification. It is also worth adding that BWT has invested in its engineering team by developing its existing workforce (such as production operatives) with specific qualifications.
Our company employs a multi-disciplined engineering team with extensive experience in the application and development of lightweight material technology in the aerospace sector. BWT’s team has been instrumental in the successful implementation of many of the air distribution ducting systems currently in service.