Home to a major aerospace cluster in Mexico, it follows successful models such as Toulouse, Wichita, Montreal, and Seattle.
Home to a major aerospace cluster in Mexico, it follows successful models such as Toulouse, Wichita, Montreal, and Seattle.
Hardide Coatings Inc., a United Kingdom-based provider of surface coating technology, is investing in a new manufacturing plant worth $7 million to expand its nanostructured coatings throughout North America.
The 26,000ft2 facility in Martinsville, Virginia, is planned to be operational in the fourth quarter of 2015, creating as many as 29 jobs in the first three years.
The facility is located within an enterprise zone in a state where more than 230 aerospace companies, the Commonwealth Center for Advanced Manufacturing, and two Rolls-Royce facilities are based. It will house chemical vapor deposition (CVD) coating reactors as well as pre-treatment, inspection, quality assurance, and finishing equipment. www.hardide.com
Designed by VX Aerospace, the VX-1 KittyHawk aircraft has won a JEC Innovation Award for its blended-wing carbon structure.
“We are very proud to receive a special award from the JEC Group for the VX-1 KittyHawk. It recognizes the innovative, high-potential aspect of our project internationally,” says VX-Aerospace CEO Bob Skillen. Partner Chomarat Group’s C-Ply composite reinforcement made the aircraft’s design structurally possible by giving the structure low weight, structural efficiency, durability, and ease of manufacture.
C-Ply came from collaborative work between Chomarat and Stanford University’s Dr. Steven Tsai, who developed the concept of bi-angle, thin-ply, non-crimp fabric composites. North Carolina State University and the University of South Carolina were other partners in the VX Aerospace project. www.chomarat.com
PPG Industries’ aerospace coatings group has installed the first commercial system in the U.S. for application of its aerospace electrocoat (e-coat) primer for aircraft parts. The system is installed at the U.S. Coast Guard Aviation Logistics Center, Elizabeth City, North Carolina.
In the e-coat process, pre-treated metal parts are immersed into a water-based primer bath and an electrical charge is applied. The primer is attracted to the charged part in a uniform film, the part is rinsed, and thermally cured. The low solvent emissions, chromate-free Aerocron e-coat primer offers weight savings and produces near-zero waste. With e-coat primer, the logistics center has reduced primer application and processing time from hours to minutes and full cure time from days to an hour.
PPG makes the resin and paste components for Aerocron primer at its Oak Creek, Wisconsin, and Springdale, Pennsylvania, coatings plants. The primer is qualified to SAE International’s Aerospace Material Specification 3144 for anodic electrodeposition primer for aircraft applications. www.ppgaerospace.com
December U.S. manufacturing technology orders totaled $506.89 million according to AMT – The Association For Manufacturing Technology. This total, as reported by companies participating in the United States Manufacturing Technology Orders (USMTO) program, was up 32.7% from November and up 4.7% when compared with the total of $484.08 million reported for December 2013. With a year-to-date total of $5.08 billion, 2014 was up 3.1% compared with 2013. The USMTO report provides regional and national U.S. orders data of domestic and imported machine tools and related equipment.
“The momentum we saw in manufacturing toward the end of 2014 is fueling optimism for 2015, with many major manufacturers saying they plan to hire more and invest more throughout the coming months,” says AMT President Douglas K. Woods. “The 3.1% gain in orders for the year was in line with our yearly forecast. While there are reasons for caution – a rising dollar, falling oil prices, and a shortage of skilled workers – overall we feel that the U.S. economy will continue to improve its fortunes through the first half of 2015 and manufacturing will see a measure of restrained growth.” www.amtonline.org
Robot orders and shipments in North America set new records in 2014, according to the Robotic Industries Association (RIA), the industry’s trade group.
A total of 27,685 robots valued at $1.6 billion were ordered from North American companies during 2014, an increase of 28% in units and 19% in dollars from 2013. Robot shipments also set new records, with 25,425 robots valued at $1.5 billion being shipped to North American customers in 2014. Shipments grew 13% in units and 6% in dollars from the previous record set in 2013.
While the automotive industry was the primary driver of growth in 2014, non-automotive industries also performed well throughout the year, growing 7% from 2013. In addition to welding automation, robot orders saw growth in assembly (+16%) and material handling (+11%). The RIA estimates that about 230,000 robots are now used in U.S. factories, placing the United States second only to Japan in robot use. www.robotics.org
The AccuteX Great Economy (GE) wire EDM machine combines high cutting speed and accuracy at an affordable price. The line features automatic wire threading (AWT) for fast submerged rethreading at the break point. When wires break, rethreading takes place without dielectric drainage/refilling, resulting in spark-to-spark times as low as 15 seconds. An air-driven wire removal system disposes of any length of waste wire.
The GE machine is capable of 33.5in2/hr cutting speeds using 0.012" high-speed wire. The stable discharge (SD) master-powered servo control system enhances accuracy, repeatability, and surface finish while minimizing the possibility of wire breakage. The intelligent discharge unit maximizes performance in changing workpiece thicknesses and water flushing conditions. A digital AC power supply facilitates high speed, electrolysis-free machining.
The controller features automatic corner control that analyzes cutting data, wire diameter, cutting angle, and workpiece thickness to automatically determine parameters for the best corner cutting performance from roughing to finishing.
The 6-axis controller includes Z-axis positioning and 5-axis simultaneous interpolation for any turn-and-burn applications. A W-axis rotary table and controller can be applied to both vertical and horizontal applications.
Absolute Machine Tools Inc.
The conquest H51 features a 20hp, 5,000rpm A2-6" main spindle with a 2" bar capacity. It offers maximum turning diameter of 12.3" and a maximum turning length of 25.5". The 12-station turret supports up to 24 tools. The machine offers a variety of standard features such as through-tool coolant, bar feed and chip conveyor interfaces, three-position stack light, PCMCIA memory card, USB capability and rigid tapping.
Conquest H51 specifications:
The SUMOCHAM drilling head line has expanded, adding a range of drilling heads featuring new geometry. The drilling heads have concave cutting edges allowing gradual entry into material. This measured penetration reduces torque and cutting forces, enhances self-centering capability, and achieves tighter dimensional tolerances.
Available in 8mm to 25.9mm diameters, in 0.1mm increments, the HCP-IQ drilling heads enable the use of drills of up to 12xD, without the need for pilot holes.
The HCP drilling heads are made from the IC908 TiAlN PVD nano-layer coating grade for extended tool life, peeling resistance, and stable wear progression. Eliminating pilot hole operations reduces machining cycle times and the number of tools required for drilling operations.
Iscar Metals Inc.
Precision hand-scraped and polished guideways in all axes and rigid one-piece machine bed design allow vertical lathes to absorb vibration and provide optimum stability in hard turning applications.
A rapid feed (X/Z) of 944ipm permits quick positioning of the tools. A 12- or 24-station servo-type tool turret, carrying tools up to 2.5" diameter offers indexing time of 0.2 seconds.
A turn mill provides machining flexibility for completing complex large parts.
Software detects and diagnoses the tool load during machining to reduce tool wear and prevent damage, optimizing tool life.
The VT-950/1150 range has an integrated 45° angle bed frame to minimize heat distortion. The bed design absorbs vibration sufficiently to ensure precision at hard turning.
Spindles on the VT-950 and VT-1150 provide powerful chucking for stable, precise machining. Spindles meet the toughest quality standard in the industry and are oil-cooled.
The geared drive system allows for high-torque turning at low speed and high speed turning. The transmission and the spindle motors are designed separately so the heat and the vibration generated from the transmission don’t interfere with the spindle motor.
Hwacheon Machinery America Inc.
The DoOcto series for face milling operations now includes two types of eight-cornered positive inserts applicable on existing cutter bodies.
Low cutting force and good chip control make OWMT-ML inserts suitable for machining with low rigidity and difficult-to-cut materials. OWMT-HJ inserts are for roughing large-sized workpiece materials with wide surfaces. AH3135, with alternately stacked layers, provides stable machining and long tool life.
This expansion increases the lineup of DoOcto/DoQuad inserts to four types, including the existing two types for double-sided optimizing.
A 130mm low-profile vise extends the work area for multi-axis applications. As part of the Fixture Pro family, this vise permits increased Z travel while maintaining the same characteristics as larger vises – offering stability, repeatability, and long service life.
Available in standard and drop-and-lock versions, the vise is designed to reduce setup-time.
In addition to the low profile solution, a dual-station production vise line includes 6"x15" versions. These vises permit the use of full 6" width on vertical machining centers (VMCs) with narrow tables that typically pose table overhang and clearance issues. These short length vises are available in three body styles: narrow base, ball lock base, and a universal design for direct-to-table mounting.
Edgecam Workflow adds more than 50 new features in the latest release including: waveform turning, multiple machining sequence support, ribbon bar and interface updates, and wire EDM.
Talysurf i-Series instruments are available in 1mm, 2mm and 5mm gage ranges with an 18-bit gage for improved resolution in surface detail, contour, and 3D measurement.
A temperature compensation system monitors changes in ambient temperature, ensuring consistent system performance and high measurement integrity.
Amtek Auto Ltd.
The CNC pilot 640 is designed for universal lathes, fully automatic turning centers, combined turning-milling machines, vertical lathes, and vertical boring and turning mills up to 5-axis machining with X, Y, Z, B, and C axes.
New software offers high-resolution 3D graphic simulation, allowing the results of turning, drilling, and milling to be evaluated before machining. A rotational view allows part inspection from all angles.
CNC pilot 640 offers load monitoring with a multi-colored bar graph displaying the load of both the spindle and motor. Simple parameterization defines utilization threshold values of a reference operation. Exceeding the first threshold triggers the exchange of a replacement tool. If the second threshold is exceeded, the machine stops to avoid tool breakage.
Eccentric and non-circular turning are possible, allowing machining of oval and polygonal parts and cams without additional machine elements. Further improvements include: better oversight in the file manager, technology data display, and the ability to include or exclude the tool selection to generate automatic programs.
Stallion hybrid trunnions allow faceplate and chuck installation without removing the trunnion table for faster part setup, increased productivity, and higher quality parts. The workers accommodate vises, fixtures, three- and four-jaw chucks, and collet chucks. Two models are available, the stallion hybrid 9/20 (9"x 20") designed to hold a 6" vise and the 9/23 (9"x 23") designed for double or single station 6" vises.
Both sub-plates and quick-change sub-plates are available with quick-change ballocks. Standard baseplates allow the trunnion assembly to be offset to one side of the machine to maximize travel. A pneumatic brake, built into the outboard support, provides up to 600 lb of clamping torque. Hydraulic work-holding packages are available.
The trunnions are engineered to bolt to a machine’s rotary indexer, allowing operators to mill, drill, tap, and contour up to three sides of a part in one setup. Heavily ribbed cast iron construction provides rigidity and durability.
The EGL compact servo gripper is designed for testing, laboratory, and assembly applications.
Its on-board 24VDC power and control electronics don’t require external devices for operating. It can communicate by Profibus-DP or CAN-bus. An electric brake allows position maintenance and a pseudo-absolute encoder function. Standard industrial connectors allow fast setup and installation.
The EGL weighs 1.8kg and can generate up to 600N of grip force, allowing it to grip workpieces weighing 3kg with a stroke of 49mm per jaw.
SCHUNK Intec, Inc.
Selectable resolution options for the MarCator 1086 and 1087 digital indicators provide easy operation, large display, powerful application features, and a built-in wireless system.
The new resolution option offers five different resolutions, ranging from 0.00002" to 0.0005" (0.0005mm to 0.01mm). MarCator digital indicators with the selectable option include the 1086 R with large display, the 1086 WR large display/Wetproof IP 54, and the 1087 R and BR with analog/digital display and dynamics. These indicators are also available in the Ri integrated wireless version. Additionally, the MarCator 1086 and 1087 digital indicator line is available with 3/8" (8mm) mounting stems and a full range of backs for mounting into existing gages.
Using the selectable resolution option with Ri indicators provides wireless data collection. With an i-stick USB receiver and MarCom software, users can record data from workpieces that have varying tolerances. Integrated wireless digital indicators can update an existing bench or hand gage for data collection.
Mahr Federal Inc
Northrop Grumman Corp. will produce four RQ-4 Global Hawk unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) for the Republic of Korea’s Air Force. The systems will provide wide-area intelligence gathering capabilities. The contract includes two ground control stations and supporting equipment. Under a contract awarded Dec. 16, 2014, the company will work closely with the U.S. Air Force to deliver the systems starting in 2018. www.northropgrumman.com
General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc. (GA-ASI), a manufacturer of remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) systems, radars, and electro-optic and related mission systems, successfully flight tested a pre-production Due Regard Radar (DRR). This marks the first functional air-to-air radar on a RPA that meets a requirement for operation in international airspace. DRR will allow users to operate Predator B independently in international airspace without the need for land-based, sea-based, or off-board airborne airspace surveillance.
Throughout December, Predator B was flown in scripted encounters against multiple small- and medium-sized manned aircraft while the pre-production DRR simultaneously tracked multiple targets and continued to search a wide field-of-regard (FoR).
The RPA automatically executed collision avoidance maneuvers, verifying integration with the second-generation traffic alert and collision avoidance system (TCAS II) used on commercial aircraft.
GA-ASI’s Due Regard capability is now at technology readiness level (TRL) 7 and is ready for a customer to conduct an operational test and evaluation (OT&E). www.ga-asi.com
Robotic Skies, a network of nearly 60 service centers across North America, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa that provides certification, maintenance, and repair for commercial unmanned aircraft, has completed its first repair of a commercial drone and returned it to operational service. The maintenance work was performed at Kings Avionics in Henderson, Nevada.
Chris Haskell, an FAA-certified avionics repairman, troubleshot and returned-to-operations a service-drone G4 1.4 unmanned aerial system to a U.S.-based customer. He had previously received training on site at the manufacturer’s Hamburg, Germany, headquarters, which supported the repair process.