Martin Knegt appointed as Managing Director of DCMC

Martin Knegt, Manager Support at GKN Fokker Services, has been appointed as Managing Director of the Development Center for Maintenance of Composites (DCMC).

“Composite materials are increasingly used in aerospace and other industries,” says Martin Knegt, who has a long background in the aerospace industry, “but maintenance of composite materials is mostly unchartered territory.” Following his Aeronautical Engineering studies, Martin Knegt started as Project Manager at Fokker Aircraft in 1984 and has worked in various positions at Fokker Services since 1996 before joining DCMC.

A center to turn to with specific issues
Martin: “My ambition is to turn DCMC into a well-established center of expertise with a dedicated field lab that companies can turn to with specific issues. Our main challenges are realizing solutions for the inspection of structural composite components, automation of repair processes and the certification of such repairs. Realizing this whilst meeting regulations is the most challenging for the aerospace industry.”

Market opportunities to grab
“Right now we still see low-tech solutions for the inspection and repair of high-tech composite materials that are increasingly being used for the fuselage, wings and fairings of airplanes. Our ambition at DCMC is to create automated and robotized on-site inspection and repair methods in order to minimize downtime of aircrafts. One idea is to use robots working inside a mobile clean room to cut out the damaged section and repair it with a composite patch.”

“Likewise, I believe recycling of composites should be high on our agenda, since at present there is no viable solution. We would like to find ways to separate the resin from the fibers to re-use these valuable raw materials in meaningful applications. Thereby making sure composite fuselages and wing structures don’t just end up in massive airplane graveyards.”

DCMC: facilitating research
“Our goal is to facilitate research and create a collective knowledge database for all participants, whilst reducing individual research costs. We aim to attract more partners and collaborate with companies from aerospace, automotive, marine, energy and infrastructure. We also want to work closely together with the regulatory bodies for certification issues and educational institutions to give them the opportunity to gain practical experience and test new ideas in our field lab.”

At present, DCMC is comprised of Fokker Services, Specto Aerospace, the Dutch National Aerospace Laboratory NLR and the Delft University of Technology and has partnerships with six other companies.