Aerospace Service & Controls (ASC) is formed by John Preiss and Dave Mason. Preiss and Mason both previously worked at Baron Blakeslee, a dominant autoclave manufacturer in the 70s and 80s. They open shop in a 1,200 sq.ft. industrial unit in Sun Valley, CA. The company's early mission was to provide service on autoclaves and ovens in the aerospace industry. They also provided custom control software and control systems for retrofit of older autoclaves and ovens.
ASC moves to larger 3,000 sq.ft facility in Sun Valley. Mason authors a DOS-based equipment control software package called CPC. The software is unique in that it provides complete control over the equipment without relying upon PLC hardware. Northrop Grumman in Pico Rivera, CA purchases the first CPC system for their B2-bomber program.
ASC receives its first order for an aerospace autoclave. GE Aircraft Engines in Evendale, Ohio receives it 4x8 autoclave later that year. The unit was designed for 800F operation at 200 psig.
ASC sells a large autoclave retrofit job to Lockheed Skunk Works in Burbank, CA. We also become Lockheed's maintenance and service company for their existing autoclaves. We spend much of our time repairing older autoclaves from other manufacturers.
ASC is contracted by Lockheed Skunk Works to relocate and reinstall much of the equipment during their move from Burbank to Palmdale, CA. These projects include multiple control system retrofits using CPC.
ASC continues to enhance CPC's capabilities in response to GE, Lockheed, and Northrop composite engineering feedback.
We deliver our first larger diameter, indirect gas-fired autoclave to GE Aircraft Engines. The unit is 10ft. diameter x 15 ft. long, 800 F, and 200 psig.
We build and deliver another 4ft. diameter x 8 ft. long autoclave to GE.
We build and deliver 2ft. diameter x 3 ft. long autoclave for the US Naval Warfare Center.
Although the blade production will ultimately move to autoclave process, ASC is the selected to co-develop a unique CPC-based control system for forming presses used to press-cure GE90 fan blades. The program incorporated cure modeling ad look-ahead control to anticipate exothermic reactions.
ASC begins a long relationship with Programmed Composites Inc. This startup company utilizes ASC for their autoclave retrofits. ASC delivers multiple control systems to PCI and co-creates a novel "signature-based" control system for a government research grant. PCI will later grow into the one of the largest satellite structures provider in the world.
ASC delivers two high-temperature and high-pressure autoclaves to Rohr Industries in Chula Vista, CA (today Goodrich). The units were designed and built to operate at 750 psig @ 1000 F. ASC provides multiple CPC systems to Lockheed for quench-oven applications. We also retrofit a specialized titanium forming press to be used for a NASA SR-71 retrofit programs.
We are the selected vendor to provide a large nitrogen system for Lockheed Skunk Works. We also are selected to automate Lockheed's Facility Pollution-control oxidation system. The system incorporates more than a dozen PLCs and CPC is used as the HMI platform.
ASC is the selected vendor to retrofit and automate all autoclaves at TRW – El Segundo, CA. The retrofit of five autoclaves and two ovens is scheduled to occur over a 2 week window during the Christmas shutdown. ASC successfully completes the install in record time.ASC finish the year by delivering three more autoclaves to aerospace clients.
ASC is selected by Hughes Environmental to design and develop the next-generation dry-cleaning machine called "DryWash". ASC's prototype is unveiled at the Clean convention in New Orleans later that year. This unique dry-cleaning machine utilizes super-critical CO2 and is meant to replace the current fluorocarbon process.
We begin to provide our CPC control systems to OEM equipment suppliers. We become a single-source provider to Melco Steel for their new autoclaves and DFI Industries for their ovens.We receive a contract to provide retrofits on multiple large ovens at Hughes Missile Systems. These include heating, cooling, vacuum, and control system upgrades.We are the winning bidder on a multi-million dollar retrofit project at Hill AFB in Ogden, Utah. This project includes complete autoclave rebuild of a 15x30 autoclave, 10x20 autoclave, and multiple ovens. ASC also provides smart-processing CPC systems on this equipment.
ASC partners with GE in an SBIR for self-directed control of composites. This program utilizes CPC and dielectric systems to provide real-time control of composite curing. We expand the CPC product line with a revolutionary product called CPC-MULT. CPC-MULT is the first product designed to control multiple pieces of equipment concurrently using the same PC. This product will allow customers to automate small equipment at a fraction of the cost. We enter into a partnership with American Autoclave to be their exclusive controls supplier. CPC is installed on a dozen American Autoclave systems, including ones in Taiwan, New Zealand, and Malaysia.
We receive the largest order to date when we are selected to retrofit ten large autoclaves at McClellan AFB in Sacramento, CA. The multi-million dollar order will be completed on-time and under-budget, although soon after the base is closed. We provide a large 10 ft. diameter x 24 ft. long aerospace autoclave to NASA Johnson Space Flight center for their rocket programs. The 800 F / 200 psi unit will be used for advanced material production.
ASC is selected by the US Army to provide design of a unique control system called "Smart Weave". This system utilizes carbon-fiber strands within thick armament composites to determine the degree of cure of the material.
We are selected by Boeing Developmental Center to automate multiple ovens using the CPC-MULT package. We begin a long-term relationship with Hexcel, Kent, WA with a multiple control system order for their existing autoclaves and ovens.
We are selected to retrofit all six large autoclaves at McDonnell Douglas St. Louis. This massive retrofit project included vacuum systems, control systems, and pressurization systems.
We are selected by Rockwell/Boeing to provide automation of their Downey composite production facility. We deliver more than 50 control retrofits this year.
ASC delivers a 12 ft. diameter x 40 ft. long autoclave to Robins AFB. We provide multiple high-temperature and high-pressure autoclaves to Naval Research Laboratory. We are selected by Boeing-Australia to retrofit all of their production autoclaves over a short 3-week holiday shut-down. The million-dollar upgrade was performed on double-shifts and was on-time.
ASC develops CPC-NT as the Windows version of the CPC-MULT package. This package will ultimately become the world's most popular control software for composite processing. We are awarded an SBIR program by the US Air Force to develop a next-generation field-level repair unit that utilizes advanced controls and smart cure-monitoring sensors to provide real-time control of field repairs of composite structures. ASC successfully completed phase I. We provide multiple autoclaves to Goodrich, Boeing, NASA, Lockheed, and TRW.
We are selected by Boeing to provide an advanced autoclave capable of 500 psig and 1000 F operation. We dominate the equipment retrofit business, providing CPC and CPC-MULT retrofits for 100+ pieces of equipment.
John Preiss retires and sells his share of the company to Dave Mason. ASC moves to a 10,000 sq.ft. facility in Chatsworth, CA.
We partner with Bell Helicopter on a government research program to develop a future-looking Proactive control system capable of anticipating future resin states and cure rates in support of the V22 Osprey development program.
We are selected by Rohr Industries (Goodrich) to upgrade and retrofit ten production autoclaves at their Riverside facility. This huge, multi-million dollar project, was completed within 4 months of purchase order issuance. The autoclaves were all 15 ft. diameter or larger gas-fired autoclaves.
We are selected by Boeing & ACM Composites in Malaysia to provide vacuum and control systems for their three new autoclaves.
We are selected by Boeing helicopter, Mesa, AZ to provide new control systems for 15 pieces of equipment, including production autoclaves, presses, and ovens.
ASC is selected by Boeing and Hexcel (BHA) to provide vacuum and control systems for all new autoclaves at their new joint venture in Tianjin, China. In addition, ASC provides three large production ovens for the same facility. Loral Space Systems selects ASC to provide retrofit of all of their thermal process equipment, including autoclaves, ovens, and large heat-tables used for satellite structure curing. Boeing Frederickson selects ASC as the control software supplier for their three massive autoclaves. The double-door autoclaves are 23 ft. diameter x 60 ft. long and are utilized for 777 wing components.
ASC develops a unique autoclave for the aerospace market that encompasses high-quality materials, advanced controls, energy efficiency, reduced cost of ownership, and an affordable price. The new autoclave concept is termed "The Econoclave ®". Lockheed Palmdale selects ASC as the supplier for three large core-coating ovens to support their military programs. Later in the year, Lockheed procures two additional composite curing ovens from ASC. We modify CPC to control a large anodizing line and penetrant line used by Boeing for their 777 wing program. This new product will be named Flextime ®.
ASC's Econoclave product line launches with multiple aerospace orders. Customers include GE, BAE, ITT, and the US Air Force. We create the Econoclave GLS model specifically for the glass-laminating market. OldCastle Glass becomes the launch customer for this new model. We partner with Greg Arneson (GPR) to market Flextime ® control systems for automation of wet-process lines for the plating and finishing industry. Later this year we deliver our first Flextime control system to LaFrance plating. Our CPC software begins to dominate the domestic aerospace industry. We receive more than 80% of the autoclave and oven controls retrofit business in the US.
ASC continues to dominate the small-medium US autoclave market, selling seventeen (17) Econoclaves to a wide variety of customers, including Lockheed, GE, BAE, Northrop, and a number of universities. We are chosen by the Gillette corporation as the single-source manufacture to design and build a unique multi-vessel system used to process high-end razor blades. We receive orders for our Econoclave GLS (glass-laminating) models from OldCastle Glass and Ogara Hess. We sell more than a dozen Flextime control systems to customers in the aerospace, electronics, and automotive industries. This year, ASC will perform more than 150 CPC retrofit projects.
ASC receives two massive orders from Vought Aircraft. One is a 25 ft. dia x 90 ft. long autoclave for their Fort Worth facility and one 30 ft. dia. X 75 ft. long to cure fuselage sections for the Boeing 787 aircraft. The 30 ft. diameter autoclave is still today the The Worlds Largest Autoclave (by volume). We are selected to provide a huge control system upgrade for Boeing's 25 ft. dia x 90 ft. long autoclave in Seattle, Wa. The autoclave will be used for 787 development and has more than 1000 thermocouples and 700 vacuum lines. We are selected by Hall Spars to build a 6 ft. dia x 150 ft. long autoclave for production of spars (masts) for custom and production sailboats. We are selected by Sikorsky Aircraft to provide multiple blade curing autoclaves to support the US Army's war effort. In total, we will sell 19 Econoclaves this year.
ASC receives an order from Northrop Grumman to build a 15 ft. diameter x 75 ft. long high-pressure autoclave to be used for Global Hawk unmanned aircraft production. We will receive two large Flextime control system orders from Siegel Roberts and S&C Electric to automate multi-hoist plating lines for the automotive manufacturing. ASC will sell a total of 21 Econoclaves this year.
ASC receives two huge multi-million dollar orders for autoclave for cement production. Kajima purchases four (4) 8.5 ft. diameter x 155 ft. long units and Certainteed purchases six (6) 8 ft. diameter x 195 ft. long units. We receive an order for two (2) UF6 sampling autoclave for the nuclear industry. We are selected by General Dynamics Armament Division to retrofit CPC control systems on all of their production autoclaves. We are selected by Sikorsky Aircraft to retrofit CPC control systems on all of their production autoclaves. We are selected by Meridian Automotive to provide a huge Flextime plating system for their 30-crane chrome-on-plastics plating lines. This remains ASC's largest Flextime system. ASC will sell a total of 34 Econoclaves this year.
ASC sells a high-pressure 12 ft. diameter x 65 ft. long gas-fired autoclave to Vought Aircraft. We increase our international business with Econoclave orders for TAI in Turkey, Daher in Mexico, Fujiwara in Japan, International Sky in Italy, Uniscope in Israel, Barber Glass in Canada. We are selected by Boeing to retrofit its 25 ft. diameter x 95 ft. long autoclave in Seattle. This multi-million dollar contract remains ASC's largest control system retrofit project. We are selected by Heroux Devtek in Montreal to automate their new plating facility, including multiple plating lines for landing gear repairs. ASC will sell a total of 33 Econoclaves this year.
ASC receives ten Econoclave orders from domestic and international armor manufacturers for the curing of military personnel armor and vehicle armor. We are selected by a major nuclear fuels producer to provide multiple UF6 sampling autoclaves for their nuclear enrichment facility in New Mexico. This is the first enrichment facility to be built in the US in more than 30 years. ASC receives orders for million-dollar control and mechanical retrofit projects for CTRM-Malaysia and CTL Aerospace. ASC will sell a record total of 36 Econoclaves this year.
This year is a big year for large Econoclaves. ASC receives orders for a 15 ft. dia. x 30 ft. long unit for Tinker AFB, two 15 ft. dia. x 45 ft long units for GE, one 15 ft. x 30 ft. autoclave for Taikoo-Spirit. We sell our first two Econoclaves to mainland China. One unit, a 15 ft. x 30 ft. Econoclave, is built by ASC in China and installed at the Taikoo-Spirit facility. The second 6 ft. x 30 ft. unit is built in the US and shipped to Taikoo. We are selected by Boeing to provide mechanical and control retrofit of a large production autoclave at their factory in Huntington Beach, CA. ASC will sells a total of 28 Econoclaves this year.
ASC makes big inroads in China this year. We receive eight Econoclave orders from Boeing-Tianjin, Goodrich, COMAC/Shanghai Aircraft, and Sichuan Aerospace. We receive a huge order from ATK Utah for four large autoclaves to support military and Airbus A350 programs. Two 13 ft. x 65 ft. units, one 15 ft. x 40 ft. unit, and one 15 ft. x 60 ft. unit. We are selected by Lockheed Martin to provide a 20 ft. x 50 ft. gas-fired autoclave for their Fort Worth factory. We win an order from Goodrich China for a 16 ft. x 30 ft. unit for their new Tianjin facility. We receive a multi-Econoclave order from Lockheed Martin for four (4) 7 ft. x 15 ft. units to support the JSF production. We receive a multi-Econoclave order from CFAN for blade production, including three 5 ft. x 20 ft. units. This becomes ASC's top-selling year, with 44 Econoclaves sold.
ASC receives two orders from Proctor & Gamble (Gillette) to build multi-vessel processing units for their Berlin and Boston blade processing facilities. We win a multi-million-dollar contract to build two large composite ovens for Boeing. ASC receives notice of certification for our ASME NQA-1 (nuclear quality) quality system. This certification follows an audit by Areva corp. ASC receives ISO 9001:2008 certification for our quality management system.
ASC continues to expand, as we receive a jaw-dropping 30 autoclave orders in the first 4 months of the year, many of which are 12 ft. diameter and above. The orders include three large 12x33 autoclaves for Nikkiso's Vietnam facility, one 4.5m x 11m autoclave for Shanghai Aircraft (COMAC), a 15x30 for Triumph in Thailand, a 12x30 for Hexcel in Washington, and two 12x40 autoclaves for their new Mississippi facility.
We also broaden our product line and take orders for four HDF (hot-drape forming) machines from Hitco Corp. to support their 787 production programs.
We continue our "out of autoclave" business with a large oven order from the MiG corporation in Russia.