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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