MTorres aims to take carbon-fiber technology for jets to the next level

Engineering firm MTorres, a maker of sophisticated aerospace manufacturing equipment, opened a new innovation and manufacturing center near Boeing’s jet plant in Everett. It’s developing a novel manufacturing method to produce one-piece carbon-fiber fuselages without fasteners.

Spanish engineering company MTorres arrived in the Pacific Northwest two years ago to compete for a bigger share of the vast American aerospace market for advanced, automated manufacturing equipment.

It’ll have a grand opening next week of a big new facility in Everett where it develops innovative technology for nearby Boeing and other customers.

For example, it produced the robotic manufacturing cells inside Boeing’s newest “spar shop” in Everett that drill and fasten stiffeners and rib posts to the long spars for the 777X wings, the largest ever on a commercial jet.

But MTorres is looking much further down the runway with its ideas.

Even as it builds additional equipment to produce those 777X spars, it has also come up with a bold plan to build one-piece carbon-fiber fuselages without the metal joinery and support used on current planes like the mostly composite 787 Dreamliner.

It’s a technology that could transform airplane making.

The first demo piece, a large, complexly curved one-piece composite airplane fuselage that contained not a single fastener, was unveiled at the Paris Air Show in June.

The technique could likewise be used to produce other large composite airplane structures such as wings, or vehicles in the defense or space-launch sectors.

In fact, the original idea was to start with making an airplane wing, and so the technology is dubbed Torres­Wing.

It’s not a near-term project. MTorres executives freely admit it’s a proof-of-concept endeavor, a technology proving ground that may take years to become an industrialized reality.

Still, TorresWing presents a startling vision of the future.

An animated video shows how a complete factory could be designed to mass-produce such fuselages. It shows cells of fully automated equipment fabricating complete one-piece fuselages — all done by robots moving in a tight ballet and producing a finished carbon-fiber structure without a single rivet or fastener or any metal.

The fuselages include stiffening stringers, structural frames and floors, all integral to the structure.

The project brings together MTorres’ expertise in designing robotic equipment for laying…

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