Our design software is our secret weapon. But don't ask me about it!"
- Bill Wing
...Ok, ok. We'll tell you a little bit more about it, but don't go shooting your mouth off to just anybody. That's our job. In short, our software makes difficult projects routine; We get things right the first time; It reduces costs and stress for everybody involved - you included.
Learn more about our secret weapon →
The Wing Inflatables Path to Success:
Armed with the most advanced materials on the planet and our custom built, proprietary software, Wing is setting new standards in fit, performance, and durability.
We start by inspecting every lot of polyurethane material that comes through our door to make sure that it meets specifications. Samples from every lot are weld-tested to make sure the coating and the base fabric are properly bonded to each other. Every roll is measured for the appropriate thickness with a micrometer and various lots are accurately weighed. A square yard of 40 oz. fabric should weigh 40 ounces. As fabric is rolled out on the cutting table it is inspected for any cosmetic blemish and if found, rejected. All other hardware is visually inspected and sampled for appropriate attributes.
Cutting and Assembly
Once the design specs on our end are confirmed and approved by the customer, they are entered into our design software. Information is sent to the plotter-cutter where it marks, scribes, and cuts out the polyurethane. We cut only one layer of fabric at a time so every piece is visible for inspection as it is being cut.
Upon completion of the cutting, handles, d-rings, line loops, etc. are then chemically fused with a bonding technique after the pattern pieces are welded together Some people might call this 'gluing.' Nothing is simple however. The pores of the polyurethane need to be opened up and softened by applications of heat and solvents so as to create a chemical bond with the adhesive. Adhesive is applied on both surfaces to be bonded and allowed to set. In some cases the process is repeated. Then the materials are pressed together, rolled out, and allowed to cool for the final chemical set.
Rotary welders are used to put pattern pieces together that make up the air-holding tube or foam sheath. Joining polyurethane fabric is a critical process akin to both industrial sewing and metal welding. Using hot air, pushing material forward as with sewing, a bubble or bead of molten polyurethane is formed between the two layers of material just before they are rolled through compression wheels and fused together. A cold weld means not enough melted urethane to create a strong bond. Too hot and the nylon weave can be damaged and weakened. Perfect welds are a critical source of pride on our shop floor.
Ask a Wing welder if they're ever stumped or come up against something they can't handle. The answer will be a simple 'No.' " -Bill Wing
We can't emphasize this point enough: Polyurethane has the critical advantage of being able to be thermo-welded. A thermo-welded seam, as opposed to a glued seam, results in far tougher, longer-lasting tubes. It's a fact. Wing seams are overlapped 1.5", taped inside, then thermo-welded for maximum strength. Thermo-welding fuses the over-lapped layers into one solid piece. Our seams do not fail.
Once the tube has been closed and sealed it goes through rigorous US Coast Guard certified, air-holding tests to determine air-loss rates.
Once a sponson has been approved for air-holding, it moves to the finishing department. It is in finishing that the high-density, low-migration PVC rub strake or rub rail is installed. The critical placement of the attachments that marry the tube to the hull are precisely located and bonded in place. Top and bottom chafe are installed and any other accessories such as bow lights, custom logos, and life-lines are added.
Upon approval from Final QA the tubes are ready for packaging and shipping from our plant in Arcata, CA.