For global automakers, removing weight from their vehicles remains the top priority as they seek ways to meet a stringent federal fuel economy mandate by 2025 and other new pollution-control regulations.
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That huge backlog of aircraft being recorded by the global giants Boeing and Airbus, along with a lengthening list of regional aircraft, is stretching the supply chain’s capabilities to machine the newest difficult-to-machine materials.
As inventive and imaginative as 3D printer technology is, so are the materials that R&D labs have come up with to build parts, including conductive thermoplastics.
New work materials are developed continually to improve the capabilities of finished parts, making them lighter and stronger, among other properties. When these materials catch on, cutting tools must adapt to their often challenging properties.
Don’t overlook advanced technology available for removing the gnarliest burrs from parts large or small
There’s an old saw that if bumblebees were aeronautical engineers they would know they can’t fly. Quite apart from the miracle of their flight, bees also happen to make a lightweight structure of surprising strength, just the sort of thing you’d want if you were building aircraft: honeycomb.
In the aerospace world, as in all sectors of manufacturing, the race is on for faster, more automated and connected machining operations. Aerospace builders have steadily pushed for more automotive-like automation over the past several years in order to improve productivity and more effectively handle large order backlogs in commercial aviation.
Cutting tool developments are a key driving force in manufacturing productivity, accuracy, and quality. At Sandvik Coromant (Fairlawn, NJ) one of the main trends influencing cutting tool design is developing cutting tools for small-part manufacturing, particularly the medical industry, which is seeing a phenomenal growth of 10 – 20% annually.
Keeping products clean is becoming a more significant part of manufacturing as standards for cleanliness, deburring, and finish grow more stringent.
Edge finishing is a relatively new term in manufacturing. It’s a new and deeper focus on what many used to call deburring, edge honing, edge preparation, edge prepping, burring, chamfering, or edge blending. Edge finishing goes beyond any of those definitions. Deburring, which is often considered wasted effort by managers, wrongly carries a negative connotation. In reality, deburring and edge-finishing processes add many benefits to parts—they create highly desirable edge quality—the quality most products need.