At top speed to the aircraft component
Much like the automobile industry, manufacturers in the aerospace industries have reduced their manufacturing depth, and have outsourced more and more production steps to specialized suppliers. This development presents multiple challenges to the makers of precision tools. On the one hand, the new lightweight construction materials place enormous demands on the tools themselves. At the same time, more companies are involved in the production process. Their specific tool requirements are therefore all the more varied. This starts, for instance, with the fact that CFRP manufacturers are continuously developing their materials even further. As a result, the materials used to develop a processing solution are different from those finally applied in production. There are, in addition, significant differences in the users' machinery bases. Machining centers and tools therefore have to be configured for whatever work pieces are being processed at the time.
One process step savedIn the context of this development, LMT Onsrud is applying its know-how and its experience, as well as its integration into the LMT Group, to support users in every sector around the world with a comprehensive range of products and services. At the moment, for instance, the American company TECT Aerospace is getting the benefit of this know-how. This large supplier produces many highly varied components for the aerospace industry – from structural parts for the wings and fuselage, through components for the internal fit-out, and on to aircraft doors. For the manufacturing of aluminum structural components, the company's expert engineers immediately decided in favor of a tool from LMT Onsrud for high-speed machining – the AMC finisher. The crucial advantage here is that a special cutter allows one machining step to be omitted. Tom Cornwell of LMT Onsrud explains that "Until now, surface imperfections were formed when milling aluminum components, and these had to be removed in a second machining step – with the risk that the components, which have to be machined to great precision, are damaged or rejected. Tests with the AMC tool quickly showed us that this finishing step could be omitted. The tool yielded the results we need even in the first step." Further tests will now determine whether milling with higher removal rates can also shorten the component machining time.
Longer tool lives when machining stainless steelThe American company Capo Industries, a supplier to the aircraft industry, has just met with similar success in the production of an exhaust fan. One of its stainless steel components is machined using an LMT Onsrud carbide cutter that has an aluminum-titanium-nitride coating. As a result, the LMT Onsrud cutter's life is 25 percent longer than that of the tool previously used – and this figure is achieved even though the tool is used to give the component an additional finishing pass. Further tests are now planned to increase the milling chip thickness, so that the total machining time can also be reduced.
Leslie Banduch, Senior Vice President Sales & Marketing at LMT Onsrud, explains their success: "We have specialized in tools for high-speed machining of aluminum, plastics and composite materials. This pays off in the performance of the tools. In addition, as engineering partners, we understand the needs of the aircraft industry extremely well. So in many cases we develop the best tool solutions together with our customers."