Deloitte predicts the A&D industry will continue its growth trajectory in 2019, led by growing commercial aircraft production and strong defense spending. Reuters reported in mid-June that the “$150-billion-a-year commercial aircraft industry is entering a slowdown due to global pressures from trade tensions to flagging economies.”
By Mark L. Michalski2019 SME President,SME Member Since 1992
The global aerospace and defense (A&D) business landscape is undergoing significant disruption driven by a keen focus on innovation and digital transformation, and geopolitical situations. Despite some future uncertainty, demand for commercial aerospace and defense in 2018 finished with a continued, upbeat industry outlook.
Mention “aerospace” and most thoughts run immediately to exotic alloys, ultra-precision machining systems, sophisticated electronics and a host of other high-tech subjects. There is more to the story, particularly where passenger aircraft are concerned.
Hard turning has long been used for finishing when it comes to high-volume applications. Now, tooling suppliers have pushed cubic boron nitride (CBN) insert technology further, with geometric innovations that further increase the efficiency—and cost-effectiveness—of hard turning.
Companies refer to the combination rotor and blade part in the combustion section of the gas turbine engine in different ways. Some companies refer to them as blisks, others call them IBRs (internally bladed rotors).
Bill Malanche - Chief Operations Officer, Mitsui Seiki USA Inc.
Could this be the time? Ever since I started my first job as a design engineer, I’ve heard it phrased in one of many ways, but the basic premise was always the same. We are going paperless in the factory. No more 2D drawings, shop traveler sheets or written step-by-step assembly instructions.
Robert Ghobrial - Technical Fellow and AM Technology Strategist, Lockheed Martin
The aerospace and defense industry is leading the way in an exciting shift and step in the industrialization of additive manufacturing (AM) technology. The industry leaders historically responsible for driving the use and adoption of AM continue to make large investments in facilities, machines, technology and workforce to support their implementation strategies.
Aaron LaLonde - Director of Applications Engineering, SLM Solutions NA
In many manufacturing industries today, 100% inspection is commonplace. This market-changing trend obviously drives OEMs to design inspection devices that collect data much faster than in the past. The data-capture issue becomes more formidable with larger, complex components, particularly in the aerospace manufacturing industry where tolerances continue to get tighter and assemblies continue to get bigger.
Joel Martin - Laser Tracker Product Manager, Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence
A&D manufacturing is one of the most highly regulated industries, and for good reason: The FAA handles over 43,000 flights a day. Add in private jets and defense aircrafts, and we’re talking about the safety of millions of people daily. When manufacturers don’t comply with regulations, fines can be massive.
John O'Kelly - Founder and CEO, Newcastle Systems
Aerospace and defense companies are faced with daunting security challenges as products become increasingly sophisticated. As product complexity grows—integrating thousands of software, electrical and mechanical parts—the security risks and organizational hurdles grow in tandem. One
Paul Clements - Vice President of Customer Success, BigLever Software
In April, Airbus Helicopters ushered in a new era of Chinese helicopter manufacturing with the inauguration and start of operations of its H135 final assembly line (FAL) in Qingdao, Shandong Province, China.
Mankind first set foot on the moon in 1969, laying our first footprints on our orbiting partner, roughly 230,000 miles away. Nearly five decades have passed since we last visited. Today, NASA is developing the Orion spaceship, which will launch astronauts back into lunar orbit, to the moon’s surface and, if all goes as scheduled, to Mars.
Brandon Marcus - Global Segment Manager, Aerospace & Defense, Protolabs
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.
Mohammed Naeem - Senior Manager, Applications Engineering & Technology, Prima Power Laserdyne
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.
When Kencoa Aerospace began its operations 20 years ago, it was a small company focused on defense applications. But the company also progressed into commercial aerospace over the last six years and considers itself very diverse in terms of the parts it can machine for well-known clients.
Producing complex aerospace parts, such as vanes, blisks and impellers, requires a particularly fast, very precise and extremely dynamic machining center. For manufacturing critical components used in engine and turbine construction, this means a 5-axis machining center.
Michael Defer - Executive Vice President, Chiron America
Cubic Boron Nitride (cBN) is a superabrasive material that has traditionally been used to grind materials, such as steels and nickel alloys. Though not as hard as diamond cBN has the benefit of not being as chemically reactive with ferrite-based and nickel alloys.
Andrew Biro - Applications Engineer, Norton Saint-Gobain
Service Mold + Aerospace Inc. is not your typical mold shop. While the shop’s core competence remainsthe design, engineering and building of injection, compression, low-pressure, blow molding, glass-encapsulation and forming molds for the automotive industry, it has emerged as a contract build-to-spec supplier of parts for that industry as well as for aerospace and medical customers in North America and Europe.
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.
Connected manufacturing and digitization technologies are spurring many of the major innovations in CNC machine controls that help machine shops cut metal and create parts as quickly and efficiently as possible. In most cases, software leads the way in helping both CNC programmers and operators on the shop floor to easily manufacture parts with the highest possible precision.
Patrick Waurzyniak - Contributing Editor, SME Media
We know that there is a lot of apprehension by small and medium businesses to really jump into Industry 4.0, IoT and automation. There are a lot of reasons why, including the big financial investment. So we took up a project at the University of New Hampshire’s John Olson Advanced Manufacturing Center to create a demonstration cell that would show how a small/medium manufacturer could embark on the journey toward getting to full automation and IoT data utilization.
Brett Brune - Editor in Chief, Smart Manufacturing
Aerospace and other players in the large-scale manufacturing business bear the load of crushing backlogs and internal pressures to eke out more productivity year over year. As a result, these companies are focused on Smart Factory initiatives to build essential data feedback loops into design, engineering and production processes to improve quality, efficiency, and cost.
NASA’s recent award of $5.2 million to a public-private partnership led by researchers at Auburn University’s Samuel Ginn College of Engineering is the latest in a series of developments driving additive manufacturing innovation.
Steven Taylor - Professor and Associate Dean for Research, Auburn University’s Samuel Ginn College of Engineering
Suhner has had a history of drilling and tapping in the machining industry. But another division had been heavily involved in grinding and polishing. So we essentially combined automation, the machining side, with the abrasive side. Suhner has been involved in grinding, polishing, deburring for many years, and now we’ve taken that knowledge and put it into our end-of-arm tooling for robots and created a line of Robot tools.
If you visited our booth last year, you’ll notice that it was primarily hardware based—the CNC controls being a bigger contributor. Today, if you visit our booth you will notice we have many more elements from Siemens hardware, software and PLCs. We have a couple of new products we’re showing and also an emphasis on additive manufacturing and certainly machine connectivity.