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What is the factory like behind the world's leading aircraft engine parts?

Time:2018/8/9 Posted:鼎盛国际-16602090555

As we all know, General Aviation is the world's leading supplier of aircraft engines. Worldwide, every two seconds, a plane powered by a GE aircraft engine takes off.



In the field of aerospace manufacturing where safety is paramount, the quality of aerospace components must be guaranteed and the supplier's responsibilities are established. Steel Tool & Engineering (STE), based in Trenton, Michigan, is an important supplier of general aviation selection with its unwavering pursuit of quality and customer satisfaction.


So, what is the STE factory like to build the world's leading aircraft engine parts?




According to STE President Pete LaFond, STE uses a complete solution for GF machining solutions from electrical discharge machining (EDM), milling and automation lines.

Good digital transformation positioning

The pursuit of digital by aviation customers has brought new challenges to the production of STE jet engine components, such as low pressure turbine casings, compressor seals, and seal retainers.

“We responded well to this transformation, but it does take a very short time, I mean a few hours, there is a major investment decision to meet the expectations of aerospace customers for data transmission, and to establish non-sequences. Traceability of the parts," LaFond said. "We have completely achieved paperlessness. From the day we came in until the factory is turned into a product, our database is very important in terms of how we process this. Our customers are driving digital transformation. Everything from the prime contractor is brought together by the supplier, and of course this includes us."

He said that the production of jet engine parts will change in 10 years. Even with a steady 5% to 7% year-on-year growth, it is almost the growth of the entire aerospace industry, and it is not easy to keep up with the pace in a rapid technological innovation environment.

GF machining solution is a strategic choice

GF Machining Solutions' leading multi-technology portfolio and complete solutions are a major reason why STE chose to work with it.

“Some people might say that putting eggs in the same basket is dangerous, but it's a strategic decision. We chose GF processing because they offer three different processes, System 3R Automation, AgieCharmilles EDM. And the Mikron Mill solution, which is important to our business," LaFond said.

For working with a complete solution provider, the partnership is built on mutual trust. LaFond said: "If there is a problem, when we ask for help, the GF processing solution responds very quickly. They treat us like we treat GE Aviation."



In fact, it was the GF processing program that helped STE successfully complete the automation transformation in 2006.

LaFond said: "We have automated production with the help of GF processing solutions, which has become the biggest factor to help our company develop. When you grasp the value of automated production, that is, faster settings, fewer human errors and Turn off the production, then it is priceless."

The WorkMaster unit, combined with the classic combination of the AgieCharmilles FO 350 and FORM 200 EDM machines, saves space and is ideal for manufacturing high quality products.

Today, STE's GF processing solution team has grown enormously: it includes five EDM electrical discharge forming automation units, each controlled by a System 3R WorkMaster robot, and an automated unit consisting of three EDM wire cutters. , using the System 3R A-axis turntable, controlled by a WorkMaster robot. For milling, STE's Mikron HPM 450U, UCP 600 Vario and HEM 500U five-axis machines use a seven-station pallet changer.

The HPM 450U and HEM 500U 5-axis high-performance machining centers with seven-station pallet changer are ideal for machining demanding stainless steel parts such as the 321 stainless steel compressor stator outer ring.

These solutions help STE and its 150 employees work for critical and growing customers, such as GE, and contribute to a work environment that measures customer satisfaction as a measure of success.


The benefits of the System 3R automation solution for STE are faster installation, fewer human errors, and blackout production.



LaFond said: "We have a group of hardworking workmen who do a great job every day. This environment makes me proud.

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