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voestalpine:  Staying on Track in Aerospace

March 24, 2009

US voestalpine subsidiary RFC awarded record order for Boeing 787 Dreamliner

When you first board the upcoming 787, you may notice that the seats face picture-sized windows or extend 6 1/2 feet with ample storage and easy power access. This seat arrangement may be completely different on each flight as the floorplan is easily configurable from one flight to the next. A small slice of Austrian “roll formed” ingenuity helps to make this technology possible.

Roll Forming Corporation (RFC) was recently awarded a 10-year supply contract with RTI International Metals for laser-welded titanium components for Boeing 787 Dreamliner. At USD 120 million, this is the largest single order in the history of RFC and the entire voestalpine Profilform division.

RFC is the exclusive production laser welding supplier for the 787 PAX Floor Pi-Box Seat Track program, used for the seat tracks in the floor structure of the 787. These components are a major improvement over the previous design in both weight and strength, and are especially exciting for RFC due to the introduction of state of the art technology in forming, laser welding, and inspection applications on titanium materials, according to Bill Johnson, RFC’s COO.

RFC has been a supplier to Boeing since1969, and also manufactures custom roll formed profiles used in construction and agricultural machines and furniture. RFC employs approximately 300 people at three US locations and has annual sales of approximately USD 95 million.