Precision machining of complex aerospace components requires a reliable, repeatable, and accurate manufacturing solution, with difference between a perfect part and a scrapped part being just a few microns.
Due to this unrelenting demand for accuracy and precision, the world's leading industrial and manufacturing companies are undertaking a digital transformation in order to attain superior performance requirements. This shift is known as Industry 4.0, the current trend of automation and data exchange in manufacturing technologies.
The aerospace industry is no exception to this digital transformation, research suggests that 76% of aerospace and defence companies expect to achieve advanced levels of digitisation in product development and engineering within the next 5 years.
Industry 4.0 and Rigibore
Rigibore's Zenith solution applies Industry 4.0 manufacturing principles, ensuring precision boring through a closed-loop tool compensation process, moving the ActiveEdge boring bar's cutting edge with micron accuracy based on information transferred directly from the machine control.
Zenith Solution Overview
Zenith is Rigibore's total automation solution for the production micron accurate bores.
The Zenith solution allows operators to meet precise tolerances on high value component materials, without the risk of part scrappage.
This advanced system guarantees accurate adjustments. Rigibore's ActiveEdge tool is integrated with spindle probing or other means of measurement to monitor bore sizes and adjust automatically as part of a closed-loop manufacturing operation.
Two-Cut Finish Process
Aerospace manufacturer's primary concern is to ensure precision performance when manufacturing parts, and with good reason.
The cost of these high value components can sometimes be in excess of a month's budget, with significant hours of time invested in milling and threading operations prior to the final bore. These factors emphasise the damaging ramifications of part scrappage. The harsh reality is that in an industry of this magnitude, scrap is simply not an option!
Operators seek solutions that provide total confidence in a perfect bore, eliminating the risk of scrap. The Zenith two cut finish solution ensures precision performance, automatically conducting a "pre-finish" cut to allow verification of a precise finish bore.
Fail safe machining — See Rigibore's precision 'two-cut' finish process in action.
Rigibore's partnership with metrology experts Metrology Software Products (MSP) ensures accurate probing data to guarantee production of perfect bores in an automated and traceable way.
Advantage Through Automation
When machining the critical final pass, traditionally, the tool's cutting edge is manually set by an operator. Due to the demand for absolute precision and the difficulty of setting the tool accurately, this task requires a skilled and experienced operator in order to avoid setting an oversized or undersized bore.
Rigibore's Zenith solution removes the risk of compromising component quality through elimination of operator intervention. This automated solution receives direct feedback from the CNC machine and adjusts the tool's cutting edge with sub-micron accuracy.
Return On Investment With Zenith
In this landscape where scrapped parts are so costly, both in monetary value and in time, it is easy to justify enlisting a solution which can provide security in removing this risk.
Application of this automated solution helps to provide a continuous and speedy return, far outweighing the cost of initial investment. 2017 research into Aerospace organisations having applied industry 4.0 manufacturing techniques anticipate a revenue gain of 2.7% per annum, whilst also predicting a cost saving of 3.7%.
The Time Is Now
With the future of manufacturing shifting to digital measures, the benefits of a more accurate, productive and cost-efficient production environment are evident across a wide range of industries and on a global scale.
In an increasingly competitive manufacturing environment, organisations who are slow to explore advances in technology may find it difficult to compete.
For more information about Zenith please see the Zenith page.
Statistics collated from "Industry 4.0, Building The Digital Enterprise": https://www.pwc.com/gx/en/aerospace-defence-and-security/publications/assets/industry-4.0-aerospace-key-findings.pdf