Peter Hammond, the Technical Director of metrology software products ltd (MSP), was invited to speak at the 2015 TRAM Aerospace Conference in November to over 300 delegates from across the globe. The conference, held at the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) in Sheffield, focuses on trends in machining and manufacture. Peter spoke about the increasing demand and pressure on aerospace manufacturers to grow and how MSP are cutting costs and reducing cycle time for some of the world’s leading aerospace companies by checking for metrology and part set-up errors in existing machines.
The following article is taken from Issue 2 of the AMRC with Boeing Quarterly Journal, Q1 2016
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“Don’t replace existing inefficiencies with new ones, improve what you already have.”
Demand for new aircraft means aerospace manufacturers will need to grow by 20 per cent a year, an extraordinary amount for any company, but how are they going to do it? asked Peter Hammond, the technical director for Metrology Software Products (MSP).
MSP helps companies to increase productivity by giving them ideas and strategies for changing tools, methods of manufacture and scaling up processes.
It says using advanced techniques can directly affect the number of machine tools and time needed to machine parts and manufacturers can make the necessary changes by using the equipment they already own in different ways, instead of investing in more machines.
The key is to resolve potential issues at the design stage, removing as many errors as possible in the part set-up and machinery before manufacturing begins, Hammond explained. This avoids bottle necks in production and inspection-stage failures by rectifying errors prior to cycle starts.
MSP involves NC programmers in part production to help work out cutter paths, time on each machine tool and simulate anything that is possible before a part is made. Checking machining capability and conducting test runs in the warm up cycle produces consistent part quality and over time, improves results.
The company helped reduce the cycle time for the Eurofighter foreplane from a seven day process, with eight operations, 22 hours rework on every part, high scrap and concessions to just five hours per workpiece with no rework, scrap or concessions.
“Using what companies already have can increase part quality, maximise use of available machining resources and reduce costs, which are all critical if aircraft production targets to be met,” said Hammond, adding that MSP had enabled some companies to increase capacity ten-fold by making more effective use of existing machine tools, people and factory space.
“There is always room for expansion of your company’s infrastructure, but if you change the way you work with what you already own, significant improvements to output can be made with drastically lower costs,” Hammond added.”