Site: JAMCO Corporation
6-11-25 Osawa Titaka
Tokyo 181, Japan
Date Visited: December 11, 1992
Report Author: D. Granville
Mr. Yoshiro Matsuo
Mr. Seiji Ogawa
Mr. Osamu Terada
Mr. Satoru Ogasawara
Mr. Shigeo Suzuki
JAMCO is the world's leading producer of aircraft lavatories, supplying units for Boeing 747 and 767, and McDonnell Douglas MD-80 and MD-11, and galleys for all models. Its current market share is 70% for lavatories, and 30% for galleys.
In 1952 the company began doing aircraft repair, and in 1955, aircraft component fabrication. JAMCO holds the highest levels of certification for aircraft maintenance awarded by the Japanese government; these include structural, electrical, pneumatic, hydraulic and instrumentation repair. It began making aircraft galleys in 1970. They increased production to heat exchangers and aircraft lavatories. JAMCO has extensive testing laboratories to meet Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) standards. Computer-aided manufacturing includes autoclave production of sandwich skin composites. JAMCO is one of only two companies in the world capable of manufacturing jet aircraft air chillers made from thin stainless steel.
JAMCO advanced pultrusion is used to manufacture curved T-stiffeners. This process is isobaric die roll-trusion manufacturing equipment (1-2 m/hr). Typical fabrication is two ply uni and two ply graphite fabric for each side and bottom, with PP/PET slip-sheets as separators between the split isobaric die and the product. Nylon rolls are used to guide 3" wide tape through the channel "chute" into the die, followed by variable radius takeup within the "oven" chamber.
Compression press equipment is used for continuous sandwich skin laminate structures using a honeycomb core.
Lavatory and galley expenditures are highest in the machining, trimming, and assembly costs. Current cost of a lavatory is approximately $30,000 to $40,000. The weight is approximately 250 lbs. JAMCO uses a "streamlined" assembly approach. Lavatory assembly stations are set up so that each worker has the responsibility for two or three assembly details. More experienced workers are at the end of the assembly cycle; they are skilled in all tasks and quality checks. Workers keep a running record of all engineering change orders, drawing changes, sub-assembly changes, and fabricating, machining, and trimming errors. JAMCO hopes to further investigate self-extinguishing low-exotherm thermosetting resins, advanced pultrusion methods, and lightweight sheet molding compounds (SMC) for aircraft markets.
JAMCO has excellent data processing, manufacturing, planning, and inventory control systems. It has 52 CAD terminals, eight for 3-D solid modelling, the remainder for 2-D. They do not use CATIA as Boeing does, but use another less sophisticated but compatible system. Their CAD is adaptable to CAM so that information is transferrable to the shop floor. CAD data files are essential for later maintenance of the lavatories, and as a record for Boeing. Engineering has an on- line communications network with Boeing. Manufacturing drawings are kept separately from design drawings but the skilled workforce has no trouble reading design drawings. Shop people are regarded eminently qualified to address quality issues and to assess better ways of building the product. Scrap is approximately 10% for all composite lavatories and ways to recycle scrap are being investigated since waste removal costs are very high. Three autoclaves are in operation, but no modern feedback controllers are used. Disposable vacuum bags are used but JAMCO is evaluating the newer re-usable elastomeric cauls and bags and bag sealing methods. Material (pre-preg and core) quality is "bought" (in specs) from the suppliers. No differential scanning calorimetry or other chemical characterization is used, but there are many tests and visual checks for the finished product quality after processing.
JAMCO. 1992. Annual Report.
JAMCO AMERICA. 1992. "Component Technology in Flight" (brochure).