Organised by CGTech, TTL and Siemens PLM, the popular âEssentials for Excellence in Aerospace Manufacturingâ conference was held at the Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC), Ansty, Coventry. It was attended by over 50 visitors from the UKâs leading aero frame, engine and component manufacturers, as well as high tech sectors that share similar challenges, such as motorsport, power generation and medical engineering.
Although the âEssentials for Excellence in Aerospace Manufacturingâ event was aimed primarily at precision engineering companies involved with the production of aero structure components, the presentations addressed the challenges faced by manufacturers within many high tech industry sectors. With customers expecting 100 per cent OTIF (on time, in full) delivery these challenges include the efficient production of complex components in exotic alloys, to tight geometric tolerances and even tighter schedules, so there are no margins for error.
Rolls-Royceâs Chief of Manufacturing Engineering CAM & SFS, Mark Heyman, was the guest speaker. His presentation, âNC Tool Path Verification: The Rolls-Royce Journeyâ, highlighted just how important the adoption of advanced software solutions is to the ongoing success of the business. He explained that Rolls-Royce has annual revenues of £1.6 billion and an order book of £74 billion, so the companyâs capacity is âbookedâ for over 5 years ahead. As such there is a continual demand for engineering time savings, ensuring component and machine safety to negate any loss of productivity.
He continued the âdigital twinsâ theme of the day, explaining that Rolls-Royce has virtual versions of over 250 of its machine tools used across the globe â about 90 per cent of its total machine tool population. We know from experience that each complex component will require around 400 models to truly match the digital to actual world, including the machine tool, manufacturing stage models, tooling and fixtures and so on. However, the combination of Siemens NX and VERICUT has improved our efficiency and ensured our productivity, which helps us achieve our delivery promise to the end customer, explained Mark Heyman.
Further presentations by CGTech, Siemens PLM and TTL highlighted how to reduce the lead-time required for installing machine turnkeys by using virtual simulation to prove the technology; component optimisation with the efficient reprogramming of parts already in production to take advantage of the latest machine performance and capability, as well as reducing time with knowledge re-use.