The aerospace industry has been on the upswing for a few years now, and all indications are that orders for parts will continue to increase. Parts manufacturers looking to capitalize on these opportunities must implement processes and techniques that will help keep them both compliant and profitable.
The aerospace and defense industry is unlike many other industries because manufacturers must meet numerous compliance requirements from the government as well as their own internal standards of excellence. These stringent requirements run the gamut from materials usage, counterfeit parts, manufacturing procedures and even hiring practices, and they make machining structural parts, engine components, landing gear or systems controls out of difficult-to-machine materials even more complicated. Here are a few tips that can help you produce high quality parts that are in compliance – all while remaining profitable.
1. Streamline your production with Multi-Tasking capabilities.
One key to profitability in aerospace parts production is the ability to efficiently machine a wide variety of high quality, complex parts in small size lots. Multi-Tasking machines are an effective strategy for achieving this goal because they enable single set-up, complete part machining. With a Multi-Tasking machine, several cutting processes, including turning, milling, drilling, tapping and deep-hole boring are combined on one machine, which means you don’t have to move the part from machine to machine for completion. Not only does this increase productivity by reducing multiple set-ups, but it also reduces the inaccuracies that can occur when moving parts from one workstation to another.
Another concept, our DONE IN ONE® processing can take efficiency to an even higher level. DONE IN ONE incorporates all machining processes from raw material input through final machining – in just one machine. It is performed through the use of two spindles with a milling turret or two spindles with a two-turret configuration. Because DONE IN ONE performs all operations in one machine, errors are reduced and operating expenses are lowered due to reduced fixture costs.
2. Use advanced CNC programming functions to meet consistency requirements.
The aerospace industry relies on consist quality in parts, and today’s advanced MAZATROL Smooth CNCs make processing complex parts of consistently high quality on our machine tools easier than ever before. Our MAZATROL SmoothX and SmoothG controls have programming functions such as orbit machining functionality that allow our horizontal and vertical machining centers with orientation of the spindle axis to turn features on large, complex-shaped parts such as valves and manifolds while they remain in a stationary position. Other control functions that enhance the ability of our machine tools to meet requirements includes position-controlled hobbing, which brings accuracy and convenience to gear cutting operations, and smooth corner control, which reduces vibrations and eliminates dwell resulting from rapid deceleration in the axial movement often associated with conventional corner machining.
3. Tap into our advanced support network.
Processing the various aircraft components out of titanium, heat resistant super alloys, aluminum or stainless steels requires unique application of machine tools and technologies. At Mazak, we have established a very strong regional support network to assist you in overcoming the challenges in machining parts for this industry. At any time, our applications engineers are available to talk with you about your specific part challenge or you can visit one of our eight regional technology centers to see machining demonstrations and learn more about the latest technologies available to make machining these complex parts easier. Also don’t forget that we regularly offer training at these centers that specifically address unique aerospace challenges. Check out our learning schedule here.
At Mazak, there are many ways we can help you become more profitable and competitive in aerospace part manufacturing. Contact your local Mazak rep to discuss your plans for entering this exciting, growing industry.