1/24/2017

What’s Behind Door Number Three?

Facebook Share Icon LinkedIn Share Icon Twitter Share Icon Share by EMail icon Print Icon

While most shops are producing shorter aerospace parts on five-axis machines or larger parts on gantry-type equipment, this shop found its niche somewhere in the middle thanks to an advanced profiling machining system from Mazak.

Share

Facebook Share Icon LinkedIn Share Icon Twitter Share Icon Share by EMail icon Print Icon
V

According to Greg Britton, CEO of Fort Walton Machining, the part-processing “sweet spot” for his company falls between five-axis machining centers and big, gantry-type machines. He says that most aerospace shops machining aircraft structural components can cut parts as long as 11 feet, but when it comes to sizes beyond that, a shop must make a committed effort to incorporate the necessary equipment: gantry-style machines that can accommodate parts ranging to 22 feet long. Unfortunately, he says these machines are expensive to operate, and the costs typically translate to higher part prices for customers.

Unwilling to settle on producing shorter parts or passing the buck, Mr. Britton searched for another option. Door number three, so to speak, was the Vortex Horizontal Profiler 160 from Mazak Corp. Its work envelope is designed specifically for the aerospace market with a work envelope that can accommodate about 70 percent of common, large-size airframe and aerospace parts. The number of shops that can cost-effectively process such parts is limited, the company says. Learn more in this case study.

RELATED CONTENT

  • 10 Tips for Titanium

    Simple process considerations can increase your productivity in milling titanium alloys.

  • Composites Machining for the F-35

    Lockheed Martin’s precision machining of composite skin sections for the F-35 provides part of the reason why this plane saves money for U.S. taxpayers. That machining makes the plane compelling in ways that have led other countries to take up some of the cost. Here is a look at a high-value, highly engineered machining process for the Joint Strike Fighter aircraft.

  • A Model Camshaft Grinding Process

    Optimizing a camshaft lobe grinding cycle has traditionally been based less on science and more on educated guesswork and numerous test grinds. Now, computer thermal modeling software can predict areas where lobe burning is likely to occur, in order to determine the fastest possible work speed that won't thermally damage lobes and greatly reduce the number of requisite test grinds.

Resources