During my travels around the globe, I’ve had the opportunity to visit many customers in a range of manufacturing facilities. My estimation is that more than 80% of customers who have quick-change tooling don’t use it as designed.
Typically, when an insert reaches end of life, we see the operator indexing it on the machine. This means the machine is sitting idle during this time with no production taking place.
In many cases, to change the tooling, the operator must go to the tool crib to get the required inserts. Sometimes, this also involves stopping for coffee, chatting with friends, and taking a stroll back to their machine to index the insert. This can take up to 20 minutes.
Quick-change tooling was designed to be either in the machine as a backup (if there’s a tool changer available) or in a tool rack sitting at the machine. The tool has been preset at the tool setting station and has the offset listed on the tool. When the tool in the machine needs to be replaced, the operator releases the tool and replaces it with a new one – a quick-change.
Either a chip reader on the machine reads the offset, or the operator manually inputs the information. This takes a couple of minutes and ensures workpiece dimensions don’t change.
The reason most of you invested in quick-change tooling was because it allowed you to keep your machine time up and your downtime down. The overall goal with using quick-change tooling is to keep the machine running and producing parts at least 85% of the time. I know customers who have been able to attain 90% uptime due to quick-change tooling.
This tooling was also designed around presetting and maintaining the tooling in a tool crib or a tool-setting station. During this process, the tools can be measured, cleaned, and any parts that are worn or damaged replaced.
If you have quick-change tooling in your shop, make sure you are using it as it’s designed to maximize the return on investment (ROI) you planned when you purchased the machine with the tooling. If you aren’t sure how to use the tooling or need help in setting it up, please contact your local tooling salesperson, whom I’m sure will be happy to assist you.
CMR Consultants email@example.com
January-February 2021 winner:
Shawn Leal, Accounts Manager, MRO Products & Services, Wolseley Industrial Group, Riverside, California
How long have you been in the aerospace business? 25 years
How did you become interested in aircraft? My grandfather fought in WWII and had a picture of his crew on his wall. He flew on a B-24 Liberator nick-named O-B***h-U-Airy Mary.
What is your favorite aircraft and why? F-16: We go to the local airshow annually in Chino, California, to see and hear it flying – truly amazing.
Franklin Park, Illinois
IV Sales Engineer
ATI Forged Products
Hales Corners, Wisconsin
To enter the contest, visit www.AerospaceManufacturingAndDesign.com/Form/NameThatPlane and fill out the provided entry form. Only completed forms will qualify. A full set of rules is provided.
Have fun, and good luck!
The entry deadline for this issue’s contest is May 28, 2021. Winners will be announced in the July 2021 issue.
Look what Shawn won!
Enter today to win your own high-quality desktop aircraft replica!
The U.S. Army has awarded S3 AeroDefense a five-year contract as the sole service partner for overhaul and repair of Moog auxiliary power unit (APU) hydraulic accumulators across the Army’s UH-60 Black Hawk fleet. The work will be performed in S3’s repair shop at its Milwaukee, Wisconsin headquarters.
Antavia to provide landing gear MRO services
Babcock Canada – part of Babcock Int’l., providers of aerial firefighting services across Europe and Canada, operating more than 100 aircraft – has chosen Antavia Ametek MRO for its Viking CL215/415 landing gear maintenance services.
Antavia has nearly 20 years of experience supporting Viking’s Canadair CL-215, CL-215T, and CL-415 waterbombers and is the main supplier of landing gear maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) services for the fleet.
VSE Aviation to distribute Triumph landing gear parts
An exclusive agreement allows VSE Aviation to distribute more than 1,600 original equipment spare parts for various Boeing and Airbus commercial platforms from Triumph Group’s Systems & Support business. VSE will supply the hydraulic landing gear components through distribution centers in the Americas, Europe, and Asia. Triumph and VSE have worked together to distribute flight-critical parts including air drive units, rotorcraft engine accessories, and fuel controls since 2013.
The U.S. Air Force awarded LiquidPiston Inc. a $150,000 Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) contract to adapt its high-efficiency, hybrid cycle, rotary X-Engine for use in unmanned aerial systems (UAS) and urban air mobility (UAM) vehicles to carry people and cargo. The engine is being evaluated for direct power or hybrid-electric propulsion.
The contract supports AFWERX Agility Prime, a non-traditional program seeking to leverage commercial electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) vehicles for government missions and the emerging commercial market.
LiquidPiston’s X-Engine can operate on JP-8, jet fuel, diesel, and other heavy fuels. Coupled with a generator, it can charge UAS batteries during flight to extend electric propulsion system range or be configured in parallel with an electric drive, using the engine directly to produce thrust or lift.
Elroy Air joins advanced air mobility project
San Francisco, California-based unmanned aerial systems (UAS) developer Elroy Air is joining NASA’s Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) National Campaign to integrate urban air mobility (UAM) vehicles into the national airspace system.
Along with other partners, Elroy Air will share information to accelerate AAM operations through tests starting in 2022 that will assess the safety of automation and vehicle designs.
“Elroy Air is pursuing fully autonomous in-flight capability as well as semi-autonomous and automated ground and payload handling operations,” says Starr Ginn, AAM National Campaign lead. “This partnership will help inform development of landing zones and ground operations, in addition to aircraft storage, maintenance, infrastructure, and procedures.”
Elroy Air will test its Chaparral hybrid electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) vehicle, designed to deliver 250 lb to 500 lb of cargo across 300 miles, as a commercial or medical supply transport.