Computed tomography scanning (CT) seems like a dream come true for dimensional inspection. It both measures the outside of parts and reveals the hidden, from occlusions to internal cooling channels, without destroying the piece. Evolving from looking at human brains and hearts to measuring the complexities of turbine blades, it is part of the growing complexity of industrial metrology.
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It seems like it was yesterday, but the reality is that it has been almost 25 years since I first became an SME student member. Yes, the face of manufacturing has changed quite a bit since then, including SME’s name. In line with those changes, the level of the service, opportunity and impact of SME has grown quite a bit too.
ECi services a multitude of industries, but we presently have four products that service manufacturing and what FABTECH attendees would be focused on: these include Macola, Max, JobBoss, and M1, which is the product I represent.
Manufacturing is adding technology and seeking more precision, more output and less downtime. One of the most basic parts of manufacturing, parts cleaning machines, is on the same path. The industry is growing in sophistication to match its customers.
Implementing five-axis machining can be an excellent strategy for efficiently producing accurate, complex parts. However, it takes more than the right machine tool to realize the full potential of a five-axis process. In addition to the right machine, tooling and fixturing options, CAM software must be selected carefully.
Three partners contributed their diverse manufacturing and machining experience—and their last initials—to found SPR Machine in Hamilton, Ohio in 2002. The machine shop has grown from a shop floor with 2,500 ft2 (232 m2) to one with 78,000 ft2 (7,246 m2) filled with 14 mills, lathes, and welding and inspection equipment. SPR produces high-quality work from 60″ (1.5 m) down to 0.0005″ (0.013 mm) for customers predominantly in the aerospace and medical industries.
The aerospace industry is continually challenged to improve quality, reliability, performance, fuel efficiency and lower turbine engine emissions. This is driving engine manufacturers to consider fiber laser welding and the possibility to automate their welding processes to improve consistency and part quality.
The search for a suitable replacement to hard chrome on aerospace components has been a key supply chain priority for aircraft manufacturers. This is because of the documented health risks to workers and the impact on the environment from exposure to hexavalent chromium, a carcinogen that occurs during the chrome plating process and the most toxic form of chromium.
The concept of the fully automated toolroom has moved from wish list to workable reality now that virtually every aspect of tool management, cleaning, assembly, presetting and delivery can happen without much, if any, human intervention.
On March 13 this year, thousands of Boeing employees gathered at the company’s Renton, Wash., factory to celebrate the 10,000th 737 to come off the production line. It broke the Guinness World Records title for the most produced commercial jet aircraft model.