1) What does Greenleaf offer aerospace parts manufacturers?
We’ve all heard the sayings time is our most precious commodity and time is money! That couldn’t be truer than in aerospace parts manufacturing where machining hourly rates are high, the materials are exotic and difficult-to-machine, and the quality requirements are strict. This creates a tremendous opportunity to add value through great, high-performance tooling solutions, technical applications support, and outstanding customer service. Greenleaf is the world leader in high-performance ceramic tooling and technical ceramics, so we know the ins and outs of saving time and money.
2) What performance advantages are possible?
We like to keep things simple for our customers. When ceramics are applicable, we will make a commitment to do the same job in much less time, equaling more profit for our customers. In most cases, we can reduce overall machining time by 6x to 10x, a value proposition that’s tough to beat. Getting more parts across the machine and out the door faster will free up machining time to manufacture other products or take on more volume.
3) What are the right applications for ceramics?
Ceramic tooling is applicable to a broad range of workpiece materials including nickel- and cobalt-based alloys, hardened materials, select stainless steels, cast and ductile irons, and materials with heavy interruptions and scale. Once the workpiece material is deemed a good fit for ceramics, we need to be sure the machine has a good, solid spindle capable of the required speeds. You also need good fixturing for the workpiece to avoid vibration and harmonics, which are detrimental to ceramic machining.
4) How do you know when to choose ceramic, carbide, or CBN?
As we’ve seen advancement in ceramic material science, we are expanding the field of operation where ceramics can be applied. We’ve successfully machined medium carbon steels with XSYTIN®-1, our newest ceramic, at 1,600sfm compared to 1,000sfm with carbide. XSYTIN®-1 also works well in heavy, interrupted cuts and cutting through the nasty scale of forgings or heat-treated materials.
I continue to be amazed at what XSYTIN®-1 will cut. Every day we find opportunities to convert customers to ceramics. When hard turning shafts with ceramics, we successfully replace CBN inserts and offer greater value.
5) What sets Greenleaf apart from other cutting tool manufacturers?
Greenleaf prides itself on running toward opportunities that others walk away from. Our custom-engineered tooling solutions offer unique features and capabilities that allow customers to process their parts in the most efficient manner possible. We start by looking at the entire process and understanding what the customer wants to achieve. Once we know the goal, we assess the machine, fixture, part, material, and coolant needs to make sure we develop the best custom-engineered solution available. Greenleaf has more than 150 years of design engineering expertise, and we have developed more than 125,000 unique custom tooling solutions for our customers.
Custom steel and insert tooling is a core part of what we do for our customers. When you wrap innovative technology, custom engineering, superior customer service, and on-time delivery into one package, customers keep coming back for more. We like that!
For more info: http://www.greenleafcorporation.com
March 2020 winner:
Andrew McLerran, Associate Software Engineer, Collins Aerospace, Binghamton, New York
How long have you been in the aerospace business?
I have only recently been involved in the aerospace industry. I graduated from Iowa State University with a B.S. in Aerospace Engineering in May 2019 and was hired in February 2020 to work on simulation systems.
How did you become interested in aircraft?
I have been fascinated by aircraft from an early age. Sci-fi, video games, and spy stories led me to liking all things that fly and go boom.
What is your favorite aircraft and why?
The SR-71 Blackbird. Having had the opportunity to talk to several former pilots who flew it, engineers who worked on it, and the time period it was operational, makes it my favorite aircraft.
Noritake Co. Inc. Abrasives Division USA
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.
The entry deadline for this issue’s contest is June 6, 2020. Winners will be announced in the July 2020 issue.
Have fun, and good luck!
Look what Andrew won!
Enter today to win your own high-quality desktop aircraft replica!
The COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic could become a coverup for other trends already happening in aerospace. Decreased demand for some aircraft, cost-cutting for efficiency, and supply chain consolidation are occurring for various reasons, but many will blame the COVID-19 virus as the cause. That’s the contention of Jeff White, partner at law firm Robinson+Cole, which represents manufacturers and distributors ranging from Fortune 50 companies to family-owned businesses. Based in the northeast United States, White leads the firm’s manufacturing industry group, where he focuses on the aerospace supply chain, mainly Tier 1s and 2s.
I spoke to White as the pandemic was shutting down most of western Europe and starting to idle many manufacturers across the U.S. as states directed people to stay at home to slow the disease’s spread.
“People say COVID is the reason the industry is suffering, but I think there are other reasons,” White says. Saudi Arabia’s and Russia’s oil-price war was lowering fuel costs and reducing airlines’ need for new, fuel-efficient jetliners before the COVID-19 outbreak. Offering passengers more flights and city pairs using transcontinental single-aisle jets was already softening airlines’ demand for large, twin-aisle aircraft before COVID nearly stopped international travel.
“I see COVID-19 as an accelerator or exacerbator, not a cause of problems that were already occurring,” White says. “Cost-cutting measures already coming within the aerospace supply chain were there before COVID-19. We were seeing signs that the bigger players were slowing down.”
He foresees cost cutting coming from some larger players will affect suppliers for the next two-to-three years.
“Suppliers that can handle the cost cuts and remain competitive have already invested in technology,” White notes.
Original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) have been reducing the number of supply chain partners. To make the short list, White advises, “Build and encourage relationships. Don’t be one of many. They will want you if you are doing things right. Be a responsible business partner, deliver on-time, and meet your quality metric.”
Another trend he anticipates is failure of some private equity companies that paid a premium to buy smaller suppliers in large numbers. “A lot were already showing signs they were not going to be successful, which will result in more consolidation. The healthier private equity funds are going to start buying up some aerospace companies from other private equity funds on the cheap.”
It’s too early to tell if COVID-19 will be catastrophic to air travel. A lot depends on how long the disease persists. A few months’ disruption should not impact air travel projections for the next decade, White and other aviation industry analysts believe.
“People will eventually want to get on airplanes. The idea that we’re not going to travel internationally anymore is ridiculous,” White concludes. – Eric
The LR 35 Vertical Buffer Module storage and retrieval unit can pick and deliver small parts quickly to meet demands for greater flexibility, ergonomics, and energy efficiency in intralogistics.
The system can pick small parts from bins, totes, and trays in small- and medium-sized warehouses, handling single-part or small-volume orders. The unit includes a shelf system with automatic bin handling, picking stations, and its own logistics software.
The LR 35 can be fitted with up to four access openings or picking stations. Each station has a turntable tilted at a 20° angle for ergonomic, stress-free operation. While the operator picks one order, the LR 35 prepares the next bin and places it on the turntable’s rear shelf. Once the picking process is complete, the turntable rotates 180° and the next bin is ready for picking, minimizing wait times.
Goods can be stored in standard bins/totes or on a tray compatible with a mini-load system without time-consuming repacking. Trays, bins, or totes of different heights can be mixed and stored together. Each load carrier can hold up to 77 lb (35kg).
The module’s lightweight design incorporates a shelf system and aisle where a movable mast with rotating gripper quickly loads the picking stations. All LR 35 versions use standardized components to enhance the unit’s scalability.
The LR 35 consumes one-third of the energy of a mini-load system, eliminating the need for an energy recovery system. Modern drive technology, highly efficient motors, and optimally configured frequency converters also save energy.
The LR 35 can be adapted to fit existing buildings and conveyors by fitting conveyor connections on the unit’s front, rear, or end face.
Kardex Remstar LLC