The Core-D machine measures turbine blades by shining a non-contact, high-intensity light spot across the blade surface. Driven by a 3D CAD program, cameras measure the spot as it moves. The light sensor is mounted on a high-accuracy 5-axis coordinate measuring machine (CMM) that allows the system to be calibrated to ISO 10360 standard as an optical CMM for production use.

Core-D can measure shiny surfaces, including polished mirror finishes, without needing a spray coating. Systems come in sizes to handle small to long fan blades, are shop-floor hardened, and can be run in automated production environments.

Jabro-Solid2 JS750 end mills offer 25% to 40% longer tool life when machining challenging materials, including ISO M (stainless steel) and S (heat-resistant superalloys and titanium). Designed for aerospace applications, JS754 and JS755 cutter geometries optimize conventional side milling, roughing, and slotting, as well as advanced roughing and dynamic milling. Smooth peripheral rake faces and strong radius design evacuate chips efficiently while maintaining a true radius form. Increased front-back tapers enhance speed and reliability for pocket machining.

Various optical coatings and focusing optics support multiple laser wavelengths. Customized optics and optical mounting features are also available. Air- and water-cooling options provide thermal stability and improve long-term accuracy.

Boeing opens first production site in Europe; Trumpf names North American laser division sales director; Department of Labor approves Lockheed Martin apprenticeship standards

Methods Machine Tools Inc. has partnered with Ocean Technologies Ltd. Inc. to offer EDM drills throughout the U.S. and Canada. Ocean Technologies’ small-hole EDM applications range from simple wire start holes to advanced full 5-axis EDM drilling.

Ocean’s EDM drills have technologies for break-thru detection and a proprietary HP1+ power supply for reduced wear, shorter burn times, and reduced energy consumption that won an innovation award from Taiwan’s government. Ocean machines can drill fine holes from 0.004" to 0.250" in spherical or curved work pieces and on materials such as hard-alloy steels or powdered metals. 

Boeing’s first manufacturing site in Europe, in Sheffield, U.K., makes actuation system components for the 737 and 767 jets. At full capacity, Boeing Sheffield will produce thousands of parts each month to be shipped for assembly in Boeing’s Portland, Oregon, plant.

Boeing Sheffield manufactures more than 100 different high-tech, flap-actuation components for 737 and 767 wing trailing edges. The 66,700ft2 facility is a more than $50 million investment, placing the world’s largest aerospace company at the heart of Sheffield City Region’s growing Global Innovation Corridor. Experienced mechanics, engineers, and more than 20 apprentices make up the 52-employee Boeing Sheffield team.

Boeing established a presence in South Yorkshire in 2001 when the company co-founded the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) with the University of Sheffield in Rotherham, and Boeing Sheffield is a result of this longstanding relationship. The company has initiated a new research program with the AMRC to develop manufacturing techniques that can be applied to the new Boeing Sheffield facility. 

Jack Pennuto Jr. has become director of sales for Trumpf Laser Technology in Detroit, Michigan. Pennuto will report directly to Ralf Kimmel, general manager of Trumpf Laser Division, North America.

Pennuto has worked the past 12 years in management, sales, and application engineering roles. At his previous company, he was senior vice president of the machinery business unit where he managed the sales and application engineering of the company’s metal forming, tube mill, and coil processing systems. He currently supports the manufacturing industry through association and academic roles, including chairman of the Advisory Committee for the Mechanical Engineering Technology program at Cuyahoga Community College in Cleveland, Ohio. 

The U.S. Department of Labor has approved Lockheed Martin’s proposed National Standards of Apprenticeship, establishing a common framework for the company to develop and expand registered apprenticeship programs across its U.S. facilities. The programs will include on-the-job training and classroom instruction for highly-skilled roles. The standards enhance the company’s ability to work with local apprenticeship offices, educational institutions, workforce agencies, and the advanced manufacturing community.

“Addressing the growing skills gap is critical to our nation’s future as an innovator and a job creator,” says Lockheed Martin Chairman, President, and CEO Marillyn Hewson. “We recognize this challenge requires government, industry, and educators to work together to develop a workforce with the skills to compete in the 21st century.”

Lockheed Martin’s National Standards were modeled after the company’s Advanced Manufacturing Technician Apprenticeship Program (AMTAP) – a 9-week training program for participants to develop manufacturing skills in electronic, mechanical, optical, and electromechanical areas. 

Using metering extruder technology (MXT) and CNC control systems and drives, the Pro and Edge fused filament fabrication (FFF) 3D printers offer speed, precision, and quality for industrial applications and full connectivity to integrate additive manufacturing (AM) with Industry 4.0.

Engineers and designers can create functional prototypes, composite tooling, end-use parts, and small-number serial production. https://www.bigrep.com

Tecnologia & Design in Italy, Prometheus in Korea, Tridi in Mexico, and Fathom in the U.S. have joined the Global Manufacturing Network (GMN), a group that pioneers cloud-enabled tools and subscription services for 3D printers. New members join existing partners Objective 3D in Australia, Teilefabrik in Germany, MCAE in Czech Republic, +90 in Turkey, along with Xometry, R&D Technologies, and In’tech Industries in the U.S. Members manage critical 3D printing systems and have access to the Aircraft Interiors Certification Solution.

With access to additive technologies and services, members can better scale their business and serve large orders on-demand. GMN currently spans four continents as the largest globally connected network of 3D printing service providers.

Plans are to extend the connected system solutions to select 3D parts providers this year. https://www.stratasysdirect.com

Bright AM additive manufacturing software tracks and manages disparate parts 3D-printed together on a single build plate, incoming orders, work-in-progress, and delivery confirmation. It supports unique serial numbers for each part being printed and tracks nonconformities.

Users can meet part specification requirements and automatically create an audit trail with specification documents, operating requirements, and media attachments that can automatically cross-reference specifications to impacts.https://www.go-bluestreak.com; https://www.bright-am.com

SmarTech’s 2019 Additive Manufacturing (AM) Market Outlook and Summary Report estimates that the AM industry grew 24% in 2018, with a total market value of $9.3 billion.

The report forecasts the total AM industry for 2018 through 2027, tracking value chain and activity including hardware, materials, software, and part production services. In 2018, all segments experienced balanced growth, with the polymer AM segment growing to $5.5 billion.

Researchers at Queen’s University Belfast, Northern Ireland, have developed a new system to prevent ice build-up on aircraft.

When a plane travels through clouds in cold weather, layers of ice can form on its wings, propellers, or jet intakes, increasing drag and reducing lift, which may lead to loss of control of the aircraft.

Conventional passenger aircraft anti-icing systems divert a portion of hot air from the engines and pipe it to the wing’s inner surface. The heat transfers to the outer surface by thermal conduction, stopping ice build-up. In addition to adding weight and maintenance requirements, this system is not energy efficient, particularly on the new generation of composite aircraft.

A team of experts at Queen’s University Belfast have developed a more efficient alternative – an ultra-lightweight heater, based on webs made from carbon nanotubes (CNT) – which can also be used for de-icing.

Prof. Brian Falzon from the School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering led the Queen’s team to the discovery, and the research has been published in the journal Carbon. (https://tinyurl.com/y9vuy6nt)

Falzon explains, “This research is funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and forms part of a larger research program aimed at developing the aircraft structures of tomorrow. We started by creating a CNT web, where individual CNTs are aligned in the draw direction, and horizontally stacking 10-to-40 layers of the webs, at different orientations, to achieve the desired heating characteristics.

“Each layer of CNT web can be as thin as 1/2,000th the thickness of a human hair, and the weight of a web large enough to cover a football field would be less than 30 sheets of letter-size photocopy paper.”

The CNT webs were cured within a thin glass fiber laminate to provide structural support, and connected to a power supply.

When researchers carried out testing, they discovered that the newly developed CNT heaters achieved rapid heating, showing that they could quickly de-ice aircraft and provide ice protection in flight.

Dr. Xudan Yao, a Ph.D. student from China, worked on the project under the supervision of Falzon and Prof. Stephen Hawkins.

Yao says: “Compared with state-of-the-art heating systems currently used on aircraft, the CNT heater that we have created at Queen’s is lighter, provides rapid and more uniform heating, and is more energy efficient. It is also more flexible in terms of fitting the shape and performance of any surface or power requirement to achieve rapid anti-icing and de-icing.”

Multinational aerospace manufacturer BMT Aerospace avoids expensive mistakes with CGTech’s Vericut machine simulation software.

No shop wants to crash one of its CNC machine tools. Production suffers while the machine is down for repairs, parts are scrapped, cutting tools broken, toolholders and workholding vises damaged. The cost and downtime can be enough to disrupt the shop’s growth trajectory, sometimes permanently. This is especially true for a Swiss-made, 5-axis machining center that’s one of only a few in the United States – No. 43 in the world.

Vitaliy Tsisyk, gearbox engineering manager for BMT Aerospace International N.V., a division of the Belgium-based BMT Group, was part of the team that decided to install the high-end machine tool. He knew the stakes were too high for the traditional push-the-green-button-and-hope approach to program prove-outs. He contacted Irvine, California-based CGTech Inc. for help.

BMT Aerospace in Fraser, Michigan, is one of three plants responsible for precision machining of gears and transmission components for the aerospace industry. The others are in Iasi, Romania, and Oostkamp, Belgium. Together they produce gearboxes and housings for turbine engines, high-lift actuation gears, shafts and housings, and various splined components.

Their customers include Airbus, Boeing, Embraer, GE Aviation, Rolls Royce, and United Technologies Corp. (UTC). These customers demand zero defects and have no tolerance for supply chain disruption. Two of BMT’s three plants use Vericut toolpath simulation software from CGTech, with the third coming online shortly.

“We were the first ones to launch Vericut,” Tsisyk says. “That was five years ago. Belgium began using it a couple years after that, and we’re currently working with the Romanian plant to get it implemented there. For us, the main reason was to avoid any issues on our 5-axis machining centers. You simply cannot afford any mistakes when you’re producing expensive parts on very expensive machinery.”

A DMG MORI DIXI DHP 80 II horizontal machining center (HMC) in Frasen boasts volumetric accuracy of 25µm (0.00090") and positioning accuracy of 0.90µm (0.00003"). The HMC primarily machines gearbox housings such as the gearbox mounted accessory drive (GMAD) used on Saab 2000 twin-engine passenger jets and Lockheed Martin C-130 military transport aircraft. Tsisyk says it also machines other parts from aluminum, magnesium, stainless steel, and titanium that demand extreme accuracy.

Bought for the DIXI, Vericut software use has expanded to other CNC machine tools at BMT Aerospace, including a recently installed UMC-750 5-axis HMC from Haas Automation. Tsisyk says the machine cuts chamfers on the bevel gears used in power take-off (PTO) boxes and similar gearbox assemblies – extreme kinematics motion that would have been difficult to visualize without Vericut.

Vericut also prevented a near certain crash after a drive block for a right-angle head was improperly mounted on the machine tool.

“Luckily, I have a very experienced guy on the shop floor who told me he didn’t think it would clear the part,” Tsisyk says. “I brought the program into Vericut, updated the model to reflect the block’s placement and size, and sure enough, it would have crashed.”

Other applications also dealt with troublesome angle heads, where clearance between the head and the workpiece was very tight. In one example, the head was going to mill a series of internal grooves inside a cylindrical part. Tsisyk had the accessory’s advertised dimensions validated on one of the shop’s coordinate measuring machines (CMMs), then used those values to model the head exactly in Vericut.

“In this case, the gap between the two was especially critical, because if you crash a head like that deep inside a workpiece, it only takes one small mistake to break a machine, break confidence levels, and disturb the production that could delay final product delivery to our customers,” Tsisyk explains. “With Vericut, I don’t have to worry about those situations.”

Aluminum Corner Key Cutting Saw

Tsisyk says Vericut is not used 100% of the time at BMT Aerospace, although he’d like to see it become so.

“We don’t have a mandate that says all programs must go through toolpath simulation before being sent to the shop floor,” he explains. “Our company and many of its 150 or so employees have decades of experience with specific ways of producing specific parts. Depending on the product complexity and the confidence level of the programmers and operators involved in the setup, they may choose to rely on their own expertise to do the verification. From my side, though, I sleep very well at night knowing that all of my programs have been simulated using Vericut.”

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