Slavia and the US space programme

  • 12. July, 2022
  • Ondrej Zošiak
  • Projects

Slavia Production Systems provides its customers with turnkey solutions such as high quality automated welding and production lines and production equipment for a wide range of industries. Our largest customers are in the automotive industry, but we also supply to the rail, agricultural and aerospace industries.

Since 2018, we have been supplying our fixtures for the manufacture, assembly and transportation of ATLAS-type rockets for the US space programme. In cooperation with our partner RohTech DST from Germany, we are the only approved supplier from Europe.

The project we have been working on so far has exclusively involved preparations for the production of the outer part of the rocket. We have proven ourselves as a supplier and therefore we are continuing our cooperation and extending the project to the production of jigs for the inner part.

Project management

The whole project was led by our project manager who worked directly on the installation in the USA and we talked to him about the whole project. Due to the strict terms of confidentiality agreements, we will not name him.

How did a company from Slovakia get to cooperate with the German company RohTech DST and start supplying the US space program ?

The initial contact with RohTech DST, with whom we are currently cooperating, was made in 2015, when supplying components for the automotive industry. Active cooperation started a little later, when in 2018 we supplied for the first time an assembly platform for the production of a rocket, which we also installed directly in the USA.

What role did Slavia play in the whole project and what did we work on ?

Slavia collaborated with RohTech DST in the design of the project, both technically and in terms of design, technology and manufacturability of individual components. Slavia manufactured all the fixtures that we later installed directly at ULAin the United States.

What made the project interesting ?

The uniqueness of the project lay mainly in the end customer. We are proud that as a company with a tradition of mechanical engineering in Central Slovakia, we had the opportunity to be one of the few suppliers from Europe to cooperate on such an important project. Every product produced was a prototype, with extremely high quality requirements. This entailed trying out new technologies and processes, machining new materials and a lot of valuable experience for our company and the employees who worked on the project.

You traveled to the United States for the installation. What was the experience like ?

We worked with cutting-edge technology in a completely different working environment than we are used to. We met interesting people, experienced very strict working conditions in terms of safety and got a taste of US working standards. It was a very valuable experience for our team.

What was the biggest challenge with this project ?

To succeed in something we haven’t done before. In an industry that is evolving in an extremely dynamic way, it hasn’t been easy. I also have to mention the high demands on quality, delivery times and shipping to the US.

Cooperation continues. What does this mean for us ?

The project is still ongoing with our participation and is being developed with other types of preparations. For us as a supplier this brings additional challenges. We believe that we will continue to develop our cooperation with our partner RohTech DST and deliver high quality formulations to our customers.