Aerospace Manufacturing: Less Risk, More Reward
These days, there’s a big push in aerospace manufacturing to build more fuel-efficient engines. At the same time, aircraft engine manufacturers are exploring how to achieve more efficient machining processes as well. It’s a time of solving new manufacturing challenges, and a time of great opportunity for those who solve them best.
Less Risk, More Reward
With demand for engines on the rise, many aerospace manufacturers are retooling. As they consider the new technology that’s available, it can be tempting to stick with tried-and-true machine tools and processes. While it may feel more comfortable to continue using what’s known (and already FAA certified), using old school approaches may leave you behind the pack when it comes to leveraging the latest advances. We have a solution that takes some of the risk out of switching to new manufacturing technologies.
The Aerospace Center of Excellence
Risk can be mitigated and reward maximized when you can prove processes before committing to a major investment. For this reason, in December of 2014 Okuma America opened the Aerospace Center of Excellence here at our headquarters in Charlotte, North Carolina. The Center is designed to be a testing and proving ground for advanced aerospace manufacturing technology. Here, customers can perform test cuts and productivity trials to solve unique challenges and productivity issues. The center houses nine CNC machines designed for aerospace use, totaling more than $6.5 million in value. It includes a fully operational metrology room, including CMM equipment and other quality measurement devices, plus a conference room.
We’re also setting up a demonstration of the VTM-1200YB at The Robert E. Morris Company in Windsor, Connecticut. This five-axis combination lathe/machining center can perform turning, vertical, horizontal, and angled surface machining in one operation without reorienting the part in the chuck. Like all Okumas, this machine tool is highly rigid and can take the heavy cuts on high-temperature alloys that are common in aerospace manufacturing.
Collaboration with The Boeing Company
Okuma’s aerospace manufacturing initiative has already resulted in a collaboration with The Boeing Company on the new ISO STEP-NC standard, originally presented at the recent International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS) 2014. Additional technologies will be on display at the Paris Air Show in June, 2015 where Okuma America and Okuma Europe will be jointly exhibiting.
A Bridge to Advanced Technology
As you can see, we’re working very hard to place millions of dollars’ worth of machine tool assets in the hands of aerospace manufacturers for testing and proving procedures. Our goal is to build a bridge to advanced technology that’s easier for you to cross. If you’d like to learn more about how you can take advantage of this program, please contact us or your local distributor.
Tim Thornton, CMTSE, is Regional Sales Manager, Okuma America Corporation.
Learn more: View the “Aerospace Industry Solutions" brochure, and read details on how Okuma uniquely serves aerospace/defense manufacturers.