New Aluminum Stretch Former To Manufacture Aircraft Components in China

Erie, PA - January 2007 - Erie Press Systems has shipped a 440t aluminum sheet stretch forming machine to Changhe Aircraft Industries in Jiangxi Province, China. The press, scheduled for start-up in March 2007, will be used to form fuselage sections for the company's new series helicopters. Sheet stretch forming machines developed by Erie Press are used in the aerospace, defense and rail car markets to manufacture airplane skins such as fuselage sections, leading edges, cowls and more.

The sheet stretch former is a combination longitudinal/transverse type press with "curving jaws" used to stretch form sheet metal panels and large extrusions. This 400 metric ton (440 US ton) former has 3200mm long curving jaws with a die table that tilts + 15 degrees from horizontal and a 1600mm vertical stroke which allows greater versatility in part forming. The base machine, STC400M - 3200-6000 CNC, includes independent jaw rotation for greater flexibility, and a full floor-plate with coverage between the forming jaws to protect workers and provide more convenient die changes.

The STC machine includes monitoring and diagnostic features such as self-teaching part programming... an Erie/L&F's patented technique that uses a set of instrumented cable assemblies to digitize the die contour for stretch wrap forming and internal position feedbacks that are more accurate, durable and reliable. This technique is superior to typical rack and pinion or retractable potentiometer designs. Machines also provide a yield point detector to eliminate part breakages, position control and software controlled tangency tracking for stretch wrap forming.

The system includes spare parts, a fully automatic powered die table rotation, a 1200 KN ton Gantry type bulldozer and 1600 mm long and 100 metric ton capacity accessory jaws.

Erie's contract includes Chinese nameplates, English/Chinese (US/metric) screens, testing, installation supervision, performance acceptance tests and training in Changhe's factory.

Optional equipment includes die table extensions that increase the table size to 1200 x 1500mm and larger 12-inch diameter extrusion jaws for use at full tonnage.

Erie Press Systems ( is a leading designer and builder of custom hydraulic and mechanical presses and machinery for a broad range of metal and non metal forming applications including open and closed die forging, sheet and extrusion stretch forming, carbon extrusion and compacting, super plastic forming, cold extrusion, powder metal compacting, composite molding, and other custom applications. Press capacities typically range from 500 to 15,000 metric tonnes (4.8 - 146.8 MN) and are designed to meet the unique needs of each customer's forming process requirements.


Contact George Currie, Erie Press Systems, Phone: 00+1 (814) 455-3941,
Matt Glass, Altman-Hall Associates, 235 West 7th St., Erie, PA 16501, Phone: 00+1 (814) 454-0158, E-mail:

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