The CSD-300II horizontal lathe uses a dual gantry robot and Fanuc controls. An improved custom human-machine interface (HMI) and a single integrated Fanuc control panel allow convenient operation and setup of the machine and robot. A clamp/unclamp switch for the robot chuck and the robot’s centralized lubrication system are standard. The CSD-300II comes ready to connect to the Internet of Things (IoT), including Fuji’s LAPSYS desktop software which scans laser etchings to trace the origin of a part – including machine and spindle – and enables part traceability, predictive maintenance, and remote operation. The CSD-300II also features a hydraulic clamping loader and 8" to 10" capacity chucks.
Bette Davis’ Margo Channing character in the 1950 movie All About Eve evokes a storm-tossed airline flight to warn of a drama-filled party ahead: “Fasten your seat belts, it’s going to be a bumpy night.” The same warning applies now to commercial aerospace, as industry analysts forecast economic turbulence for at least the next 12-to-18 months.
Business consulting firm Deloitte recently issued its “Midyear 2020 Aerospace and Defense Industry Outlook” in which its experts estimate 650 to 690 commercial aircraft deliveries globally this year, more than a 50% decline from 2018’s peak. The report also cites International Air Transport Association (IATA) predictions that airline travel won’t resume to pre-COVID-19 levels until 2025. Until then, fewer planes and parts will be needed. What can firms in the aerospace supply chain do to get through this dark period?
I asked Robin Lineberger, Deloitte’s U.S. and Global Aerospace & Defense leader how companies can best position themselves for future growth and stability. Drawing on 35 years as an industry consultant, he says, “In the short term, 1. Cash management, 2. Cost control, 3. Improve liquidity.”
Mid-term, companies should look to other markets for current or new products using their current infrastructure to potentially supply defense programs.
However, Lineberger notes, “Defense programs take a long time to develop, and if you’re not in the supply chain now, it’s unlikely you can benefit in the short term. Mid-term, perhaps.”
With more optimism, the outlook states, “Digital technologies are key to recovery.” It notes, “Companies that remained ahead of the digital transformation curve before the pandemic are more likely to be able to navigate through the crisis. They can better position themselves by accelerating the adoption of advanced digital technologies, such as advanced robotics and automation, to make the manufacturing process more efficient.”
If they can, manufacturers should invest in digital (Industry 4.0/Smart factory) initiatives that will allow them to increase automation and productivity with smaller capacity.
The outlook also recommends companies increasingly use technologies such as augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR) during planning and design, given the current remote working environment.
Lineberger and his analysts say companies should focus on leveraging digital tools to transform traditional supply chains into more visible, dynamic, and interconnected networks. He explains, “The tipping point is to get started, likely with an integrator to demonstrate how to get return while deploying quickly, as well as technology ecosystem partners that can innovate alongside the build.”
Depending on the use cases and scale of the transformation, “Manufacturers can expect 20% gains in indirect and direct labor productivity, 15% to 20% in throughput gains (reducing the need for additional capacity), and additional ‘soft’ benefits such as improved employee satisfaction and improved sustainability.”
Sustaining the industrial base and its workforce is a concern at every level and across most capability areas, Lineberger says. “Executives and companies will need to focus on key talent and retention.”
With good advice and careful planning, we can get over the bumps. – Eric
STC-MTV 5-axis mill-turn machining centers excel in hard metal machining for aerospace engine casings and gearboxes, offering single setup milling, boring, drilling, tapping, and turning of Ti6AL4V and Ti5553 titanium alloys, nickel-based super alloys, and high alloy steels, producing superior surface finishes on complex and thin-wall parts.
A geared A-axis spindle drive with compact 1D-head allows use of short tools and large bearings for high metal removal rates. The steel worm wheel boasts high stiffness and excellent damping due to a specially coated damping disk in the 1D-head. A Siemens 840D controls heavy roughing, semi-finishing, and finishing.
Integrated 200 bar/3,000psi high-pressure coolant permits one-hit turning, and the machines’ 30hp angular automatic milling head enables easy access to internal surfaces and features. The angle head is loaded automatically from the tool magazine and tools in the head can be changed automatically.
Adaptive tool monitoring system
The updated tool monitoring adaptive control (TMAC) system version 3.0 performs real-time detection and uses high-precision, multi-range sensors to determine if a tool is worn or broken. TMAC has a high-speed processor that collects data 200x/sec and directly interfaces with any CNC control to react instantly to wear and extreme conditions.
TMAC 3.0’s streamlined user interface offers numerous configurations for viewing tool and sensor data. The processor houses its own web server, making the human-machine interface (HMI) browser-based and enabling real-time monitoring from a network connected device. Users with assigned permissions have live access to all TMAC systems on a shop floor from a single browser.
An adaptive control mode optimizes cutting with conditions changing due to wear, variations in material hardness, consistency, and depth of cut. Using a power sensor, TMAC overrides the machine tool feed rate to maintain constant spindle motor power during cutting, which increases productivity, extends tool life, and reduces cycle time up to 60%.
TMAC also monitors sensors for vibration, strain, coolant pressure and flow, and spindle speed. Users can customize views to show up to 4 sensor channels simultaneously in a single view.
Fixed abrasive buffing wheels
Fixed Abrasive Buff (FAB) buffing wheels can reduce the need for buffing compounds. Abrasive grains incorporated into the buffing wheel consistently produce 1Ra to 5Ra surface values.
The tear resistant, waterproof, durable wheels offer longer life than traditional cotton buffs. Premium silicon carbide abrasive, uniformly dispersed and applied to both sides of the cloth, results in more consistent buffing, generating more parts per buff with fewer wheel changes. The wheels can be added into new or existing robotic buffing applications.
By decreasing the need for buffing compound, the wheels offer a more efficient, cleaner, and safer way of buffing that minimizes costs, reducing cumbersome, time consuming clean-up in buffing operations and post-clean-up processes. Also, less buffing compound improves worksite safety and reduces the environmental impact of compound disposal.
Key applications for FAB wheels include automatic or semi-automatic buffing, cut buffing, and mush buffing. The wheels are effective on hard alloys as well as soft metals such as aluminum and brass. They are available in 5" to 22" OD, in 12- or 16-ply, 2- or 4-pack (waviness of the buff face), and various ID hole designs.
James D. Taiclet, 60, became president and CEO of Lockheed Martin Corp. June 15, 2020. He succeeds Marillyn A. Hewson, 66, chairman, president, and CEO since 2014 and president and CEO since 2013 in a 37-year career with Lockheed Martin. Taiclet will continue to serve on the corporation’s board, which he joined in 2018. Hewson will become executive chairman of the board.
Taiclet is former chairman, president, and CEO of American Tower Corp., a wireless and broadcast communications infrastructure company, which grew its market capitalization from $2 billion to more than $100 billion during his leadership.
Previously, Taiclet was president of Honeywell Aerospace Services, and prior to that was vice president, Engine Services at Pratt & Whitney. He was also a consultant at McKinsey & Co., specializing in telecommunications and aerospace strategy and operations.
In other executive leadership appointments, Frank A. St. John, 53, became chief operating officer, a newly created position. Stephanie C. Hill, 55, succeeds St. John as Lockheed Martin’s Rotary and Mission Systems (RMS) business executive vice president. Yvonne O. Hodge succeeds Hill as senior vice president, Enterprise Business Transformation.
Schatz Bearing achieves Boeing Premier Bidder Status
Boeing Commercial Airplanes has recognized Schatz Bearing Corp.’s sustained level of high performance in flexibility, consistency, and short lead times with an invitation to participate in its Premier Bidder Program.
For almost 40 years Schatz Bearing has supplied the aerospace, defense, and space industries with precision ball bearings for rotating and oscillating applications, manufacturing products in its AS9100 Rev D, ISO9001:2015 certified facility in Poughkeepsie, New York.
Tri-Mer in anodizing conference
Tri-Mer Corp. Director of Finishing Systems Gary M. Kriesch will be a panelist at the Aluminum Anodizers Council (AAC) Remote Conference and Workshop Oct. 14, 2020. Kriesch has 36 years’ experience developing and manufacturing anodize and plating systems and is a frequent speaker at industry events.
magniX powers Grand Caravan on 30-minute all-electric flight
A 9-passenger Cessna 208B Grand Caravan became the largest aircraft to fly solely with a battery powered single electric motor, a magniX 750hp (560kW) Magni500 motor replacing the plane’s usual Pratt & Whitney PT6A 675hp (503kW) turboprop engine. Testing, engineering, and certification firm AeroTEC modified the plane.
The Caravan’s 30-minute flight on May 28, 2020, at Moses Lake, Washington, was twice the duration of a magniX-powered electric flight of a Harbour Air de Havilland DHC-2 Beaver in December 2019.
Roei Ganzarski, magniX CEO, notes that 30 minutes of continuous flight covers about 100 miles at the Caravan’s 214mph cruising speed, and about 5% of all worldwide airline flights in 2019 were less than 100 miles. The half-hour flight cost less than $6 in electricity compared to more than $40 in fuel for an equivalent turboprop powered flight.
The Xaar 1003 printhead allows 3D printing manufacturer dp polar GmbH’s AM polar i2 to produce parts on an industrial scale through additive manufacturing (AM).
The AMpolar i2’s AM process uses various Xaar 1003 printheads to jet parts at volume at significantly reduced costs compared to traditional 3D printing machines.
Productive, single-pass printing delivers build volumes up to 700L across its continuously rotating print platform. The Xaar 1003 can speedily, reliably jet fluids with various viscosities to ensure a suitable fit for a wide range of AM applications.
Metal 3D printing service adds stainless steels
ExOne’s updated Quick Ship metal 3D printing service features a new digital quoting tool and materials.
Stainless steels 316L and 17-4PH are available in the list of materials offered through instant quoting, with delivery times of 10 to 15 days, depending on number of units requested, part size, and other requirements.
A Quick Ship online dashboard allows customers to upload a qualifying digital design file for an instant quote and purchase, as well as create an account to track projects. More than 30 file types are accepted including STL and STP.
Microwave plasma systems produce AM powders
6K Additive has commissioned the first two commercial UniMelt systems in its new 40,000ft2 state-of-the-art manufacturing plant in Burgettstown, Pennsylvania.
6K is proceeding through internal product qualification and third-party printing and will begin customer sampling in August 2020 for its Onyx In718 material followed shortly by Onyx Ti64. 6K’s process can convert certified-chemistry machined millings, turnings, and other recycled feedstock sources into premium AM-ready metal powders.
The UniMelt system uses microwave production-scale plasma with a highly uniform and precise plasma zone with zero contamination capable of high throughput production of advanced materials including Onyx In718 and Onyx Ti64 AM powders. UniMelt technology can also spheroidize ferrous alloys including SS17-4PH, SS316; other nickel superalloys including Inconel 625; HX, cobalt-base alloys such as CoCr; refractory metals Mo, W, Re; reactive alloys such as Ti-6-4; TiAl; Al alloys; and high-temperature ceramics such as MY and YSZ.
3D TPU grades
Three Estane 3D thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) grades for fused filament fabrication (FFF) 3D printing applications are now available in the Ultimaker Marketplace. Added grades include Estane 3D TPU F94A-055 OR HH PL, Estane 3DP TPU 98A, and Estane 3DP TPU F70D.
Ultimaker, a global leader in desktop 3D printing, offers a material library called Marketplace in Ultimaker Cura which allows partner raw material suppliers to upload profiles that are compatible with Ultimaker printers. The 3D TPU grades fill demands from Ultimaker’s customers printing FFF applications for industrial jigs and fixtures, prototypes, end-use parts, and flexible parts such as orthopedic insoles.