An early pioneer in the field of additive manufacturing (AM), the story of Carl R. Deckard, PhD, ME, is an example of the University of Texas motto: “What Starts Here Changes the World.”
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When a contract manufacturer sees an opportunity in the competitive aerospace market, it sets priorities aimed at providing the right combination of processes required to meet the industry’s exacting demands. Precision machining and finishing, parts inspection, and, of course, certifications from OEMs and industry alliances are at the top of the list. Increasingly, aerospace suppliers like Volvo Aero Connecticut (Newington, CT) are benefiting from five-axis machining, advanced CNC controls, motors and drives, robotic deburring, and on-machine inspection for a competitive advantage.
When you walk into the Redeye On Demand facility in Eden Prairie, MN, you enter into one version of the factory of the future. There you will see a bank of 100 high-end Fortus fused-deposition modeling (FDM) machines from Stratasys that provide the capacity to build real, functional parts with production-grade thermoplastics directly from CAD data.
Not all threaded connections serve similar purposes.The load-carrying needs of an aerospace engine support bolt in a tension assembly greatly exceed those of a simple screw that fastens a cover plate to an electrical wall socket. International thread-acceptance documents and standards recognize this basic engineering fact, and incorporate different thread-inspection requirements into their verification standards.
Considered by many to be the “Father of Quality Management,” Dr. Joseph M. Juran is recognized as the man who added a human dimension to quality, expanding it from its statistical origins to a broader management science.
Off-line programming software tools for CMMs allow manufacturers to increase measurement capacity and throughput by programming CMMs, probes, and fixtures before parts are made.