Aerospace machining is frequently characterized by the tight tolerances and hard-to-machine metals typical of aircraft engine components, as well as the complex contours typical of both turbine blade forms and the aerostructural components making up a plane’s form. Because machined contours are so typical, five-axis machining is routine in this sector, include large-travel five-axis machine tools able to accommodate the largest aircraft structural components. Materials typical of aerospace machining include lightweight aluminum for structural members; hard and temperature-resistant metals including titanium and Inconel alloys for engine parts; and carbon-fiber composites that are both hard and lightweight for outer skins. Along with large five-axis machines, turn-mill machines and precision grinders are among the high-value machine tools routinely used in this sector.
Feature A manufacturer that is distinctive for its attention to in-cycle machining productivity describes its efforts to obtain efficiency improvements outside of the machining cycle. The shop’s primary tool is a simple, daily, graphical recap that illustrates when each machine tool was and was not making parts.