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Peak Productivity: SLM Solutions Launches 12-Laser Machine

Peak Productivity: SLM Solutions launches 12-Laser Machine

Selective Laser Melting pioneer SLM Solutions officially introduces its new SLM machine NXG XII 600, which is now available for commercial offer.

The highly anticipated machine is equipped with 12 lasers with 1 KW each and a square build envelope of 600x600x600 mm. NXG XII 600 is the fastest machine on the market, 20 times faster compared to a single laser machine[1] and equipped with innovative technical features like the zoom function to achieve highest productivity and reliability. It is designed to be used in serial production for high-volume applications as well as for printing large parts, which opens up new applications in the automotive and aerospace industries and paves the way to industrialised serial production.

The NXG XII 600 is the latest addition to SLM Solutions’ product portfolio and puts productivity on a whole new level, with 12 simultaneously operating lasers with 1 KW each, numerous technological innovations, and automated features. A radically improved use of laser time in the build process enables unrivaled build-up rates. The new machine was designed from scratch for serial production and features a whole new optic system, the most compact on the market. It enables large overlap and is based on a tailor-made laser scanning system to best fit the build area.  All 12 optics provide spot size definition via a double lens system called zoom function, enabling customers to choose between different spot sizes in the focal plane which boosts build-up rates to 1000 cc/h and more. Producing a higher yield of parts in a single build job thereby enables mass production at low cost-per-part.

Sam O’Leary, COO at SLM Solutions, is enthusiastic about the machine launch and underlines that a new era of manufacturing has started: “The NXG Xll 600 is a revolution in industrial manufacturing. Up until now, the limit had been considered to be that of a quad laser system – what we deliver here with 12kW of installed laser power is truly ground-breaking and a major step forward, not just for additive manufacturing, but for manufacturing in general.  The potential cost reduction and productivity gains that this machine offers you means for the first time in the history of additive manufacturing, you can have true serial production fully integrated into your supply chain.”

To facilitate the integration of the NXG XII 600 into factories and supply chains, several automated features like an automatic build cylinder exchange, automatic build start as well as an external preheating station and external depowder station are part of the solution.

To achieve homogeneous part properties all over the building platform, SLM Solutions has developed a new gas-flow setup along with an optimised chamber design and SLM Solutions’ patented and proven sinter-wall technology. Customers can also rely on the patented bi-directional recoating, which has been redesigned to be more compact and gas-flow optimised.

The NXG XII 600 features a robust machine design boasting a new thermal concept. This reduces drifts to a minimum and allows customers to print seamless parts stitched together with up to 12 lasers. Additionally, the machine comes with a brand-new UI concept focusing on the operator, which optimises the workflow and reduces training requirements. This once again underlines SLM Solutions’ focus on productivity, reliability, and safety.

The machine is available with two different powder handling options: a gravity based and a vacuum based solution, that both keep downtime between each build job to a minimum.

Machine Feature Overview

  • Build Envelope: 600x600x600 mm
  • 12 lasers with 1KW each
  • Zoom function
  • Integrated Scan Field Partitioning for even load distribution between all 12 lasers
  • Automatic build cylinder exchange
  • Automatic build start
  • External preheating station and
  • External depowder station
  • Lowest Production cost by reducing cost per part and overall build time

[1] Compared to SLM 280 Single Laser System

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High-quality Metal Parts For The Airbus A320 Made With Precise, User-friendly CNC Tech

High-quality Metal Parts for the Airbus A320 Made with Precise, User-friendly CNC Tech

Find out how Harmuth CNC-Frästechnik was able to overcome sheet-metal aircraft part machining challenges. Article by Stefan Ziegler, Beckhoff Automation.

In aircraft construction, exceptional component quality and precision are crucial, for obvious reasons. However, sheet-metal aircraft parts are often extremely large, making machining and handling problematic. 

Working closely with CNC specialist Penta-Tec CNC-Automation GmbH and with milling specialist A&T Manufacturing GmbH—a company that supplies Premium Aerotec, an Airbus subsidiary, with structural components—Harmuth CNC-Frästechnik has built large-format milling machines that use PC-based control technology from Beckhoff to successfully overcome these challenges. 

PC-based Control Provides Greater Flexibility for Machine Builders

Harmuth CNC-Frästechnik makes 3D milling machines and specialty systems, the advantages of which come to the fore in applications such as the fabrication of large sheet-metal parts for the Airbus A320 series of aircraft. The parts are supplied by A&T, as Managing Director Marc Bochinger explains, “Airbus, or rather Premium Aerotec, is our biggest customer. Besides supplying all their material (the sheet aluminium), we also form and machine large and complex structural components for them. What sets us apart at A&T is that we concentrate completely on the customer’s needs and come up with an optimized production and logistics solution in as short a time as possible.”

Power and Versatility of Standard Control Technology

“The big challenge at A&T is the need to constantly implement new machine functionality. A&T and Harmuth CNC-Frästechnik work together closely to optimize the machines—more than once, if necessary—to maximize their potential in production. PC-based control from Beckhoff covers all our requirements, not least because we can change the way axes are coupled in TwinCAT if we need to,” says Roman Felber, Technical Director at Penta-Tec.

In 2010, Penta-Tec found that rising functionality demands were pushing the performance of its proprietary control system to the limits. “We needed a new, flexible control system, capable of delivering the performance we needed. After some research and analysis of the controller market, PC-based control technology from Beckhoff soon stood out as the ideal solution,” Managing Director Dieter König says. 

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Aircraft Turned Parts Market To Reach US$ 1.9 Billion In 2025 Amid COVID-19

Aircraft Turned Parts Market to Reach US$ 1.9 Billion In 2025 Amid COVID-19

The aircraft turned parts market is expected to reach an estimated value of US$ 1.9 billion in 2025, impacted by COVID-19 according to Stratview Research market report.

Turning is a machining process used to obtain highly finished cylindrical parts with the help of single point cutting tools. Through turning, both solid, as well as thin-walled cylindrical parts, can be formed.

Impact of COVID-19 on the Aircraft Turned Parts Market

The rapid spread of COVID-19 exacerbated the existing aerospace industry challenges, hampered by the B737 max approval process. The pandemic left no options for aircraft manufacturers but to curtail their key aircraft production rates. For instance, Airbus announced to curtail its production by 1/3rd for 2020 with the revised rate of 40 A320s per month, 6 A350s per month, and 2 A330s per month, owing to a sudden collapse in air passenger traffic in the wake of complete travel ban imposed by several advanced and emerging economies.

Supply chain disruptions, huge cash burns, remote and adjusted work schedules, and huge COVID-19-related costs sacking the profitability are other noticeable effects of the pandemic.

However, strong fundamentals of the market, such as market entry of new aircraft programs; A321XLR, B777X, C919, and MC-21 coupled with a huge pile of order backlogs of Boeing and Airbus (12,816 commercial aircraft backlogs translating 7+ years at continuous production rates), and accelerated demand for replacing iconic aircraft such as A380 and B747 with A321, A350XWB, and B787, are some relieving factors for the entire aerospace community including the aircraft turned parts manufacturers.

It is estimated that the market is set to rebound from 2021 onwards after a nose-dive in 2020, the biggest collapse in the past two decades, and then will maintain a healthy growth pattern in the coming five years.

Asia-Pacific is expected to be the fastest-growing region in the years to come, driven by high long-term growth potential of the region. Commercial aircraft is likely to gain momentum in the region in the long run with the expected growth in the air passenger traffic and upcoming indigenous aircraft program (COMAC C919).

Military aircraft is also subjected to register a noticeable gain in the coming years, primarily driven by increasing defense budget of key economies, such as China, India, and South Korea.

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The Benefits Of Composites For Milling Tools And Spindles

The Benefits of Composites for Milling Tools and Spindles

In this article, Dr. Humphrey Carter of CompoTech explains why CFRP tools are a feasible option for machinery manufacturers.

Shaft displacement with temperature. (Credit: Professor Matsubara, Kyoto University.*)

The use of carbon fibre-reinforced plastics (CFRPs) is very widespread in motorsports and the aerospace industry. The exceptional stiffness and lightweight of these materials make them ideal for enhancing the performance of Formula 1 cars and high-speed jet aircraft.

Less widespread is the use of CFRPs for the production of machine tools. The same properties that make these materials so popular in high performance applications can impart significant benefits in this arena too, especially for load-bearing and structural components, or for precision movements.

In particular, the use of CFRP parts can help to improve the speed and acceleration and deceleration of a machine tool, especially over extended distances. The accuracy and repeatability with which, for example, a tool set can be returned to exactly the same location, operation after operation, can have a significant impact on productivity and, through a reduction in weight, operating life.

 

Steel-composite Hybrid Milling Tool

To highlight the benefits of the use of CFRPs in such applications, CompoTech recently developed a steel-composite hybrid milling tool that, in testing, has been shown to perform faster and machine more accurately than conventional options. The tool also imparts improved surface roughness meaning that, in certain circumstances, it can perform the job normally requiring two steel tool sets, for rough and final machining. This increases milling productivity, decreases machining time and reduces machining cost.

The hybrid milling tool is produced by depositing carbon and graphite fibre onto a steel part using a process called robot assisted filament laying (RAFL). The steel body acts both as a mandrel and as a means of connecting the tool to the tool holder and the tool holder to the spindle. It also provides a means for the attachment of the tool to the milling teeth.

After fibre placement, the part is cured at room temperature to reduce the likelihood of any thermally induced stress. It is later machined to its final shape.

The reduction in weight, up to 40 percent, and the increased stiffness provided by the use of graphite and carbon fibres enhances the damping properties. As well as increasing the natural frequency of the tool, reducing unwanted vibrations in the machining process, it gives the tool greater stability.

The low weight of the milling tool means that less energy is used in non-loaded positioning, while the lower inertia reduces peek energy in acceleration. Fortunately, this can also reduce wear on parts of the machine, meaning that the lifetime of the machine and the durability of the tool tip can be increased.

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ASEAN Aerospace And MRO Industry In The Wake Of COVID-19

ASEAN Aerospace And MRO Industry In The Wake Of COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has an unprecedented adverse impact on the aviation industry and, consequently, on the MRO business, without clear visibility on the timing of its recovery, according to Singapore-based SIA Engineering Co. Ltd. Border controls imposed by countries worldwide and the precipitous decline in travel demand has forced drastic cuts in flight capacities and grounding of aircraft.

In response to the worsening crisis, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) is projecting a more realistic U-shaped recovery for the air travel industry, with domestic travel coming back faster than the international market. 

Many expect that because of the impact of the pandemic, activity in the commercial aerospace market will take several years to return to the levels seen just a few months ago. Some players in the aerospace manufacturing industry, including Boeing and Rolls-Royce, have even announced workforce reduction and production cuts.

However, Boeing is seeing some green shoots. Some customers are reporting that reservations are outpacing cancellations on their flights for the first time since the pandemic started, while some countries and U.S. states are starting cautiously to open their economies again.

  • Boeing, in fact, has resumed production of the 737 MAX at the company’s Renton, Washington factory.
  • On 14 April 2020, IATA released an updated analysis showing that the COVID-19 crisis will see global airline passenger revenues drop by US$314 billion in 2020, a 55 percent decline compared to 2019. Airlines in Asia Pacific will see the largest revenue drop of US$113 billion in 2020 compared to 2019 (-US$88 billion in 24 March estimate), and a 50 percent fall in passenger demand in 2020 compared to 2019 (-37 percent in 24 March estimate).

According to Oliver Wyman:

  • As of late April, over 65 percent of the pre-COVID fleet of 27,500 commercial aircraft have been parked
  • The current trajectory for fleet reductions and lower aircraft utilisation would reduce global MRO demand in 2020 by over $48 billion, or 53 percent

Here’s an update of what has been happening in ASEAN’s aerospace and MRO industry amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Indonesia

  • Indonesia’s national airline, Garuda Indonesia, has resumed domestic flights starting May 7, 2020.
  • PT Garuda Maintenance Facilities (GMF) AeroAsia expects to see increasing demand for MRO services from non-affiliated international airlines and has projected an 80 percent y-o-y increase for MRO services, from 71 percent in 2019

Philippines

  • AirAsia is set to gradually resume services in the Philippines on June 5, 2020, following the Philippine government’s directive of easing community quarantine restrictions in Metro Manila and several parts of the country. The resumption of services will initially be for key domestic routes, and will gradually increase to include international destinations by July 1.
  • Air Carriers Association of the Philippines (ACAP), comprising: Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific and AirAsia Philippines, sees the industry shrinking in the next two years. The association has requested government assistance, including waiver of airport charges and credit guarantees
  • Infrastructure projects still ongoing: Lufthansa Technik and Metrojet Engineering

Thailand

  • Airbus withdraws from MRO joint venture with Thai Airways
  • Thai Airways has filed for bankruptcy protection to rehabilitate business (to restructure under the supervision of the local bankruptcy court). Will not resume its international flight operations until 30 June.
  • The proposed MRO project at the U-Tapao Airport will proceed as planned despite Thai Airways International (THAI) entering bankruptcy. The THB11 billion project has already been approved by the Cabinet and a contract is expected to be signed in June. (The Nation Thailand)

Singapore

85 percent of the Singapore industry is involved in maintaining and repairing aircraft. Singapore also plays a small but critical role in the global aerospace supply chain, with its SMEs having a key role in MRO and manufacturing—supporting special processes, tooling, testing, logistics, manpower, and other services. (Association of Aerospace Industries Singapore)

  • SIA has announced that it will resume flights to 27 destinations and increase no. flights for other services in June & July
  • Government has set aside S$750 million of support for the aviation sector and consolidation is expected to happen over the next 12 to 18 months.
  • Collins Aerospace, which just opened a 10,000 sq ft innovation hub in Singapore, is “monitoring the evolving market conditions very closely”. 
  • Rolls-Royce has scaled down its operations in its facility which tests Trent aero engines (Channel News Asia)
  • ST Engineering 
    • expects a slowdown in its aerospace unit due to deferred MRO services and lowered original equipment production rates 
    • however, the company has secured about $838 million across its spectrum of aviation manufacturing and MRO businesses
      • The MRO contracts included A320 heavy maintenance contracts and CFM56-7B engine maintenance contracts from Chinese airlines, and a component Maintenance-By-the-Hour (MBHTM) contract from a Southeast Asian airline to provide comprehensive component maintenance services for its entire fleet of Boeing 737 and Bombardier Q400. 
    • The Group is discussing with its customers to adjust delivery schedules or address order cancellations due to the evolving crisis. As at the end of 1Q, the Group’s order book remains robust.
  • BOC Aviation, a company involved in aircraft sales and leasing has extended its Engine MRO contract with Lufthansa Technik for another five years.
  • Through the enhanced Jobs Support Scheme (JSS), companies such as ST Engineering and SIA Engineering Company (SIAEC) will receive millions in additional wage support to cushion the devastating blow that COVID-19 has dealt the aerospace industry. (The Business Times)

Vietnam:

  • Suspended all international and most domestic flights in March and April in an effort to curb the spread of the coronavirus, domestic flights have resumed since April 22, after the government lifted a lockdown order, while international flights are expected to partially resume from June 1.
  • Will not consider applications for new airlines as it looks to prioritise the recovery of its aviation sector after the impact of the novel coronavirus, according to the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (CAAV). (Bangkok Post)

 

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Efficiency And Speed Make Kencoa Aerospace Machining Top Notch

Efficiency and Speed Make Kencoa Aerospace Machining Top Notch

Using CAD/CAM software has helped this aerospace parts manufacturer achieve increased efficiencies and shorter lead times. Article by Mastercam.

Efficiency and Speed Make Kencoa Aerospace Machining Top Notch

When Kencoa Aerospace began its operations 20 years ago, they were a small company focused on defense applications. But, according to Troy Boston, engineering manager for the company’s U.S.-based operations, they have also progressed into commercial aerospace over the past five to six years and consider themselves very diverse in terms of the parts they can machine for well-known clients such as Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Gulf Stream, and more.

While headquartered globally in South Korea, the U.S.-based aerospace operation is a Tier-1 supplier of multiaxis precision machined aerostructures, jet engine components, and major assemblies of commercial, military, and business/regional jets.

“We machine anything from plastics, stainless steel, titanium, all the way up to Inconel,” Boston says. He continued to explain that the part sizes they create can range from the size of a quarter up to 20-feet long. The majority of these parts are internal structural components for aircraft and can range anywhere from wing components to cargo floor skins. 

To create the parts needed for these defense and commercial aerospace clients, Kencoa turned to Mastercam CAD/CAM software (CNC Software Inc., Tolland, CT) for their machining solutions. Their 40,000 square-foot facility, based in Eastman, Georgia, employs 20 machinists, and of these, five are full-time programmers. Boston explained that their programmers have been trained through various methods, making each one valuable in different ways. Some have had formal programming training and classes, while others were formerly machine operators in their shop and worked their way to programmer. This prior experience helps as they can understand the machining side of the job. “We’ve been able to bring them in, and give them on-the-job training plus Mastercam tutorials, either online or print.”

All About the Software

The software allows these programmers to work on challenging orders including those with specifications that require holding close tolerances where their true position is 0.001 or a diameter that is ±0.0003” to 0.0010.” When presented with any manufacturing challenges, the software has helped with so many issues that it is hard for Boston to choose just one benefit it provides.

“What has impressed me over the last several years has been the OptiRough toolpath and how it has progressed and how easy it is to use. You can basically set the size of your stock, and even for a large hog-out, within a few minutes you can have a very good roughing program to be able to remove large amounts of material without a lot of programming time,” says Boston. 

This was a time-consuming process that required quite a bit of geometry creation and many separate toolpaths. OptiRough toolpaths use Dynamic Motion but in a more precise way. The cut uses the entire flute length of the tool, but a small percentage of the tool’s diameter on the first cut, followed by several successive shorter cuts that bring the part into the net shape desired. “Now, with the OptiRough program, you can select a part, select your stock, pick a tool, and it’s almost cheating to be honest, because it makes it so easy,” says Boston. 

Now, their machines can run aluminum upwards of 400-in/min. Even with titanium, they are able to run their machines at over 100-in/min. 

 

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Thai Airways To Move Ahead With MRO Project Despite Airbus Dropout

Thai Airways To Move Ahead With MRO Project Despite Airbus Dropout

With the worsening worldwide pandemic, European planemaker, Airbus, has decided to pull out of the joint venture with Thai Airways International to develop a maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) facility at Rayong’s U-Tapao Airport. However, Thai Airways has announced that it will press ahead with the project, either on its own or with a new partner.

This 11-billion-baht MRO facility was part of the government’s Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) mega-investment project to promote Thailand as an aviation and MRO hub in the region. The planned MRO hub would feature the latest digital technologies and was set for completion in 2022-2023.

Unfortunately, with global air traffic practically brought to a standstill, Airbus has been hit hard by the crisis and will be dropping out of the project investment—although the company will still cooperate on technology.

Thai Airways remains hopeful as there is time to find a new partner with construction still in its early stages and that Airbus or Boeing would come back in after the pandemic eases.

 

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Rolls-Royce Establishes Covid-19 Data Alliance To Kickstart Businesses And Economy Recovery

Rolls-Royce Establishes Covid-19 Data Alliance To Kickstart Businesses And Economy Recovery

Rolls-Royce has invited a group of leading companies to collaborate on Emer2gent, a new alliance of data analytics experts challenged with finding new, faster ways of supporting businesses and governments globally as they recover from the economic impacts of COVID-19.

Early alliance members are Leeds Institute for Data Analytics, IBM, Google Cloud, The Data City, Truata, Rolls-Royce and ODI Leeds. The alliance will be facilitated and co-ordinated by innovation specialists, Whitespace.

Together the initial wave of members brings all the key elements of open innovation; data publication, licensing, privacy, security; data analytics capability; and collaborative infrastructure, to kick off its early work and grow its membership.

Emer2gent will combine traditional economic, business, travel and retail data sets with behaviour and sentiment data, to provide new insights into – and practical applications to support – the global recovery from COVID-19. This work will be done with a sharp focus on privacy and security, using industry best practices for data sharing and robust governance.

Emer2gent models will help get people and businesses back to work as soon as possible by identifying lead indicators of economic recovery cycles. Businesses, both small and large, around the world, as well as governments, can use these insights to build the confidence they need to take early decisions, such as investments or policies, that could shorten or limit the recessionary impacts from the pandemic.

“We want the global economy to get better as soon as possible so people can get back to work. Our data innovation community can help do this and is at its best when it comes together for the common good,” said Caroline Gorski, Global Director, R2 Data Labs, the Rolls-Royce data innovation catalyst which started the alliance

“People, businesses and governments around the world have changed the way they spend, move, communicate and travel because of COVID-19 and we can use that insight, along with other data, to provide the basis for identifying what new insights and trends may emerge that signify the world’s adjustment to a ‘new normal’ after the pandemic, ” she continued.

 

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Machining For The Aerospace Industry

Machining for the Aerospace Industry

The aerospace industry is one of the most important driving factors for cutting tool development. Here are the recent tool developments to address the challenges in aerospace parts manufacturing. Article by Andrei Petrilin, ISCAR.

The aerospace industry is not only one of the largest consumers of cutting tools but also one of the most important driving factors for cutting tool development. The aerospace industry features continuous efforts aimed at improving aircraft component manufacturing efficiency, increasing flight safety, and reducing potential environmental damage.

To achieve these goals, the aerospace industry must constantly improve the design of aircraft engines and airframe structural elements, to increase the protection of the aircraft from the damaging action of such dangerous factors as lightening and icing. This, in turn, has resulted in a series of  industry demands, including the introduction of engineering materials that require new production technologies, developing appropriate machinery and cutting tools. The aircraft manufacturer has to deal with complex parts, which are produced from various materials with the use of different machining strategies. This is why the aerospace industry is considered as a powerful and leading force for progress in cutting tool development.

Many materials used for manufacturing aircraft components have poor machinability. Titanium with its impressive strength-to-weight ratio, high-temperature superalloys (HTSA) that do not lose their strength under high thermal load, and composites, are difficult-to-cut materials. In order to increase output rate and improve productivity, aerospace component manufacturers must use machine tools capable of implementing advanced machining operations. In such conditions, the role of cutting tools is significantly increased; however, cutting tools can represent the weakest link in the whole manufacturing system due to their low durability as a system element, which can decrease productivity. Customers from the aerospace sector expect higher levels of performance and reliability from cutting tools. Tool manufacturers now are being challenged and inspired, in terms of developing and integrating sometimes unconventional solutions into their products, to meet these expectations.

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Basic Materials

Figure 2: ISCAR’s F3S chipformer was designed specifically for finish turning high-temperature nickel-based alloys and exotic materials.

Most cutting tools continue to be manufactured from cemented carbide. Over recent years, ISCAR has introduced several carbide grades designed specifically for aerospace materials, including
IC 5820. The grade combines the advantages of a new submicron substrate, a progressive hard CVD coating, and a post-coating treatment to substantially increase impact strength and heat resistance. The inserts from this grade are intended mostly for milling titanium. Pinpointed wet cooling and especially high-pressure coolant (HPC) significantly improve grade performance.

Ceramics, another tool material, possess considerably higher hot hardness and chemical inertness than cemented carbides. This means that ceramics ensure much greater cutting speeds and eliminate diffusion wear. One of ISCAR’s recent developments, a family of solid ceramic endmills, is intended for machining HTSA. These endmills are made from SiAlON, a type of silicon-nitride-based ceramic comprising silicon (Si), aluminium (Al), oxygen (O) and nitrogen (N). When compared with solid carbide tools, these endmills enable up to 50 times increase in cutting speed, which can drastically save machining hours.

For turning applications, the company expanded its line of indexable SiAlON inserts for machining HTSA materials. The new products (Figure 1) have already proven their effectiveness in turning aero engine parts from super alloys such as Waspaloy and different Inconel and Rene grades. In contrast to other silicon nitride ceramics, SiAlON possesses higher oxidation resistance but less toughness. Therefore, a key of a SiAlON insert reliability is additional edge preparation. ISCAR’s new TE edge geometry has been developed to increase tool life in heavy load conditions during rough operations and interrupted cuts.

Advanced Geometry

Figure 3: The recently launched modular drills for multi-spindle and Swiss-type machines combine the SUMOCHAM design with a FLEXFIT threaded connection.

Improving a cutting geometry is an important direction in the development of cutting tools. Cutting geometry is a subject of theoretical and experimental researches, and advances in science and technology have brought a new powerful instrument to aid in tool design: 3D computer modelling of chip formation. ISCAR’s R&D team actively uses modelling to find optimal cutting geometries and form the rake face of indexable inserts and exchangeable heads.

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The F3S chipformer for the most popular ISO inserts, such as CNMG, WNMG and SNMG, was designed specifically for finish turning high-temperature nickel-based alloys and exotic materials (Figure 2). It ensures a smooth and easy cut with notable chip breaking results. The remarkable working capability of the designed cutting geometry is a direct result of chip flow modelling.

In hole making, applying modelling to the design process significantly contributed to creating a chip splitting geometry of SUMOCHAM exchangeable carbide heads for drilling holes with depth up to 12-hole diameters in hard-to-cut austenitic and duplex stainless steel.

Flexible Customisation

Figure 4: The need to increase productivity and boost metal removal rates for milling aluminium workpieces, especially large parts of aerospace structural components, has led machine tool builders to develop milling machines with a powerful main drive—up to 150 kW—with high spindle speeds of up to 33,000 rpm.

Aerospace products can vary immensely in material, dimensions, shape , complexity, and more. To make such a diverse range of products, the product manufacturer needs dozens of machine tools and technological processes. Not every standard cutting tool is optimal for performing certain machining operations with maximum productivity and, consequently, the aerospace industry is a leading consumer of customized tools.

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A customer producing titanium parts might be interested in solutions comprising indexable shell mills and arbors from the standard line; while another customer producing similar parts might prefer special milling cutters with an integral body, for direct mounting in a machine spindle.

ISCAR developed the  MULTI-MASTER and SUMOCHAM families of rotating tools with exchangeable heads and different body configurations to ensure various tool assembly options that simplify customization and decrease the need for costly tailormade products.

A further example of simplified customisation can be found in ISCAR’s recently-launched modular drills for multi-spindle and Swiss-type machines. The drills combine the SUMOCHAM design with a FLEXFIT threaded connection (Figure 3). Multi-spindle and Swiss-type machines typically have a limited space for tooling, which means that the tools in operation need to be as short as possible to avoid collisions and facilitate easy set up. A wide range of FLEXFIT threaded adaptors and flatted shanks has been designed precisely to fit the drills and maximally shorten an overhang.

Responding to demands from the aerospace sector, the company also expanded the MULTI-MASTER family by introducing a new thread connection to increase the diameter range for the exchangeable endmill heads to 32 mm (1.25″).

Aluminium Machining

Although machining aluminium might appear to be an extremely simple process, effective cutting of aluminium actually represents a whole field of technology with its own laws and challenges.

The need to increase productivity and boost metal removal rates for milling aluminium workpieces, especially large parts of aerospace structural components, has led machine tool builders to develop milling machines with a powerful main drive—up to 150 kW—with high spindle speeds of up to 33,000 rpm. To meet this demand, ISCAR has expanded its family of 90° indexable milling cutters by introducing new tools carrying large-size inserts that enable up to 22 mm (.870″) depth of cut (Figure 4). The tools have been designed to eliminate insert radial displacement, which might occur due to high centrifugal forces during very high rotational speed. This concept facilitates reliable milling in a rotational speed range of up to 31,000 rpm.

In hole making, the company developed new inserts for drilling aluminium with indexable drills from the DR-TWIST drilling tool range. The inserts are peripherally ground and feature sharp cutting edges and polished rake face for light cut, preventing adhesion.

ISCAR’s cutting tool program for the aerospace sector is based on several principles: the complex needs of this industry, taking into consideration trends in metalworking, and the drive to strengthen partnerships with tool consumers. ISCAR believes that such a tri-pronged approach ensures the successful realization of innovative ideas for efficient machining of the difficult-to-cut materials that characterize this challenging and dynamic field.

 

Increase Your Productivity Through Knowledge

Connect to ISCAR WORLD is the virtual ‘one stop shop’ app that features all ISCAR’s online apps, interfaces, and product catalogues in a single space. Discover ISCAR WORLD and its added value in providing you a rich experience to review, compare, check, and select the tooling solutions that are right for your needs.

ISCAR WORLD is simple to use and can easily be downloaded for IOS and Android platforms from the online stores.

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Frost & Sullivan Names Top Innovators In The Global Commercial Aircraft MRO Market

Frost & Sullivan Names Top Innovators In The Global Commercial Aircraft MRO Market

Frost & Sullivan reveals that the maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) market experienced substantial growth in line with global fleet expansion. As the market worth $75 billion continues to increase for aircraft maintenance, MROs are adjusting capacity to meet the surging demand through the adoption of digital transformation, technology innovation, and unrivaled efficiencies as well as mergers, consolidations, buy-outs and alliances. Airlines are spinning their maintenance divisions off into separate MRO entities to produce fresh revenue streams as OEMs jockey for additional market share.

The recently released Commercial Aircraft Maintenance, Repair, and Overhaul Market Frost Radar provides results from an in-depth analysis built on a 360-degree research methodology where over 100 companies in the MRO industry were evaluated. The team of industry analysts identified 17 industry leaders excelling at innovation, poised for growth and ripe for investment, and recognises them in the Frost Radar with insight into their innovative offerings, projected growth rates, strengths and opportunities for the future.

The following companies were identified for demonstrated excellence in either growth, innovation, or both, with the ability to translate these qualities into proven solutions that benefit their clients: AAR Corp, Aeroman, AFI KLM E&M, Aviation Technical Services, Etihad Airways Engineering, Evergreen Aviation Technologies Corp. (EGAT), Flightstar, GAMECO, GMF AeroAsia, HAECO, Lufthansa Technik, Mexicana MRO, Sabena Technics, SR Technics, ST Engineering, TAP M&E, and Turkish Technic.

 

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