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Interpolated Liquid Shim Application System

Award Information

Department of Defense
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2011 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Physical Optics Corporation
1845 West 205th Street Torrance, CA 90501-1510
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Woman-Owned: Yes
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 1
Fiscal Year: 2011
Title: Interpolated Liquid Shim Application System
Agency: DOD
Contract: FA8650-11-M-5707
Award Amount: $149,987.00


ABSTRACT: To address the Air Force need for a method to apply exactly controlled amounts of highly viscous liquid shim material within established manufacturing process specifications of the advanced aircraft assembly process, Physical Optics Corporation (POC) proposes to develop a new Interpolated Liquid Shim Application System (ILSAS). This proposed device is based on a new design that utilizes novel electronic control technology developed in-house, integrated with COTS components. The innovations in electronics controls allow the device to control and monitor the shape of applied beads of liquid shim material to match a precalculated deposition plan. Integration of proven sensor technology measures the applied bead to guarantee proper application and absence of voids. The device can be directly integrated into the manufacturing process to eliminate four separate steps from the current assembly process, producing a tremendous labor savings and eliminating an existing production bottleneck. In Phase I, POC will demonstrate feasibility of this device by building an initial prototype, and demonstrating it on a representative section of an airframe structural flange at an MRL-4 level. In Phase II, POC plans to develop ILSAS to MRL-7 to meet advanced aircraft manufacturing requirements and to ready it for integration into the manufacturing process. BENEFIT: The Air Force will benefit from the proposed ILSAS technology by removing four steps from the advanced fighter assembly process, which will result in a dramatic acceleration in the aircraft assembly process and elimination of an existing production bottleneck. The technology also enables a significant reduction in touch labor and material waste while improving quality and repeatability of the manufacturing process. Beyond the advanced fighter program, every area within transportation, both military and commercial, is pushing to increase fuel economy, so the use of advanced composites will accelerate over the next several decades. The ILSAS technology is directly applicable to a tremendous range of applications within this manufacturing sector, fulfilling a key need for the rapid and precise application of adhesives.

Principal Investigator:

Chris Ulmer
Group Leader, Engineering
(310) 320-3088

Business Contact:

Gordon Drew
Chief Financial Officer
(310) 320-3088
Small Business Information at Submission:

Physical Optics Corporation
Photonic Systems Division 20600 Gramercy Place, Bldg. 100 Torrance, CA -

EIN/Tax ID: 330118051
Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: Yes
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No