Open Mind Technologies Barrel tool technology lands in UK aerospace industry
UK – Aerospace manufacturing has long relied on machining that prioritises precision over speed, in the time honoured ‘slow and steady’ tradition. Now a new approach using barrel tools claims to offer the best of both worlds. By Adrian Smith, Open Mind Technolgies
The UK aerospace industry accounts for 17% of global market share, making the UK the largest aerospace industry in Europe, second only to the US. With 2600 UK companies employing over 230,000 staff in the aerospace market, the sector generates over £30bn of UK revenue, 75% of which is exported.
Aerospace industry important to UK economy
By 2032, it is estimated that 29,000 new large civil airliners, 24,000 business jets and 5,800 regional aircraft will be required – valued at over US$5 trillion. Overall, this is a potential market value of around US$600bn for the UK over the next 20 years. The industry is of such importance to the UK economy that the government is committing £10bn in development funds. Key players include GE, GKN, Airbus, Rolls Royce, Bombardier Aerospace, Augusta Westland, BAE Systems and many other globally renowned names manufacturing in the UK.
Working with Dormer Tools’ UK facility, Open Mind installed its Hyper-Mill and Hyper-Maxx high performance systems with promising results.
Matt Johnson, a Dormer Tools Machining Applications Engineer says: “I was invited by an Open Mind engineer to supply tooling for a demonstration piece at Warwick University. Using Open Mind’s Hyper-Mill, the previous machining time for the 18 mm deep pocket in the 316 stainless steel part was 25 minutes. I supplied our S356 solid carbide end mill and changed the cutting parameters to slightly reduce feeds and speeds, but machine the full 18 mm depth in one pass as opposed to the previous program that used three 6 mm deep passes. Then the Open Mind engineer turned on the Hyper-Maxx roughing cycle and asked me to treble the recommended Dormer feed and almost double the speed rates for the cutter.”
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