The April 2019 edition of Manufacturing Engineering is available as a digital magazine. Links to individual articles are below:
From machining monolithic parts for airplane wings to turning small jet engine parts, machining continues to advance the art of creating better, more affordable parts.
From commuter jets to communications satellites, the aerospace industry continues to embrace non-traditional manufacturing processes.
Providers are delivering varied sensors to match the needs and the budgets of industry users. As prices drop and capability grows, the question is what is the next best application?
With the latest PLM tools, manufacturers can gain an edge in implementing digital manufacturing’s cutting-edge collaborative design and visualization solutions.
PVD is a strong, nonhazardous, REACH-conforming replacement option to hard chrome.
When a long-time customer came to Northwood Industries with a challenge to redesign and make a part for one of its commercial paint spray guns, the company was pretty sure they had it covered. But when a request for three sample parts that could be used to get the parts stamped-out, turned into a 50-part end product order, the latest in CAD/CAM software helped reduced the job from two operations to one—achieving shorter lead time and faster production time.
The name A to Z Machine says it all, according to Jerry Van Handel, one of the shop’s four co-owners. The Appleton, Wis.-based job shop can handle jobs “from A to Z” successfully and profitably due to its solid, all-encompassing business strategy, said Van Handel. For A to Z Machine, that includes pairing advanced CNC machine tools with sophisticated tool management software and palletized automation.
Aerospace is an incredibly exacting industry. Everything from design to manufacturing to maintenance must go exactly as planned to keep planes flying safely, and even when they do, mistakes can happen, leading to tragedy. Nowhere was this more apparent than with the two recent catastrophic crashes of the Boeing 737 Max 8. According to a report in The Seattle Times, it is a grim reminder to aerospace industry suppliers that the margin of error in making an aircraft is exceedingly small.
Advanced Manufacturing Now
Providing for your employees is paramount in the current marketplace. If you aren’t offering a comfortable environment for your workers, they’ll seek other options. Thermal comfort is an individual’s subjective assessment of personal satisfaction in an environment and is defined by international comfort standards.
Automated manufacturing operations are finely tuned ecosystems in which all components must function in complete harmony. Grippers used to pick and place, orient and hold components or end products at various points along the production chain are key to this process.
A Michigan company that displays instructions for manual manufacturing processes on work stations via augmented reality (AR) is adding wearables to provide similar guidance. OPS Solutions, whose Light Guide Systems use a projector to relay instructions directly onto work stations, recently started offering Sight Guide using its proprietary software and Vuzix M300 Smart Glasses or the Microsoft HoloLens.
After decades of hype and predictions surrounding additive manufacturing (AM), AM is poised to be on the brink of becoming the disruptive technology that many have long expected. To accelerate the adoption of AM, a program was created to help manufacturers investigate the right equipment for the right applications—and instill confidence in that information.
Dan Braley, USN/USMC Air Vehicle Technical Integrator & Additive Manufacturing Technical Focal at Boeing Global Services (BGS) – St. Louis, and SME Member since 2015, shares his experiences with AeroDef since 2014. Highlighting AeroDef’s direct relationship of the presentations and sessions to real-world applications and problems.
As a U.S.-based company that designs, engineers and manufactures advanced industrial cutting systems and software, Hypertherm understands that a highly trained workforce is vital. But based in rural Northern New England means students don’t necessarily have access to high-tech or STEM workplaces and mentors. So Hypertherm decided to change that.
In the aerospace industry it’s common for OEM contracts and programs with their component suppliers to extend from 10 years to as many as 40 years. Many, if not most, aerospace parts demand efficient and productive metal removal rates—in tough materials, with tight tolerances, and with a reliable, robust, automated process. A long contract warrants a long view of the manufacturing technology required to fulfill it.
Laser Special Section
With greater laser power being used to weld sheet metal, tubes, copper and aluminum, operators must deliver that power with a precision that avoids defects.
Not only are fiber lasers for cutting applications dominating the market, their quality is improving. Increased laser power, speed, and capability are enabling new applications.
The well-established field of laser marking continues to break new ground with expanding business opportunities in automotive, oil and gas, medical and other industries.
Next-generation CNC machines combine traditional machining with laser cutting, welding, and additive manufacturing.