Machining from Solid, Castings, Forgings – Space
supplied space components for several of our customers and programs for a number of years. Our customer requirements vary greatly. This involves us being able to produce different components machined from multiple materials, from solids, castings, and forgings. Our staff with their many years of experience not only know how to machine complex shapes but are also experienced with various work holding devices and techniques, necessary for successfully producing high tolerance parts.
We have a modern, clean facility with late-model machine tools and the internal systems controls that are needed to manufacture precision aerospace/space components. We are ISO 9001 and AS 9100D certified and ITAR registered. We can supply components for both the defense and commercial space markets.
New Machining Equipment
Part of our ongoing commitment to our customers is providing precision parts, on-time. This requires not only diligent oversight but also a capital investment. In the aerospace/space markets, demand varies greatly. Lot sizes are usually small and not consistent. Rev. updates are common. Inventory levels are being reduced, but lead times are expected also to be shorter. Setup efficiencies and their time reductions are at a premium.
Our answer and focus over the last several years have been on machine tools that address flexibility and ease of setup. We have purchased several CNC multi-axis machines, that give us these capabilities. These updates give us greater efficiencies and added flexibility. Some of our newer equipment also have 5-axis simultaneous machining capability. Because of the multi-axis spindle movement on these machine types, you have less need for elaborate, expensive work holding. We also have twin spindle multiple turret machines, allowing parts to be machined on side A, then within the cycle, transferred and chucked on side B, to complete the machine process (less any operator intervention). By improving setup reduction, eliminating or reducing elaborate work holding, we have improved efficiencies and eliminated costs.
Part of our recent equipment investment is with CMM’s (coordinate measuring machines).
We recently purchased 7 Zeiss precision CMMs. They are currently operating in cells on our shop floor, close to the point of machining. This proximity of CMM to machine gives us better quality control at the point of manufacture. It allows us a faster response to dimensional machining problems, should they arise. It also helps minimize scrap. We also have two larger CMMs in our quality lab.
We have been able to maintain our staff of experienced machinists. Some have over 30 years of machining experience. Their machining experience includes producing parts from a variety of materials, in a variety of sizes and shapes, from solid/castings/forgings.
Our supply chain management is strong. We have experience with different customers, and systems, from the simple to the complex. We can and do supply CPk, SPC’s, tracking, and documentation. Our ERP/MRP system software allows us to track and report different quality metrics.
Our Program Management system allows us to assume much of the responsibility for coordinating material acquisition, manufacturing through our shop floor, quality requirements, supporting documentation, packaging, and shipping.
Most of our aerospace/space business is managed through customers portals. We have agreements (partnerships) with our customers via LTS’s (long-term agreements). Successful management of these agreements requires much more than just providing machined parts. We use Epicor ERP/MRP software system for managing our “systems business”. We can look into our customer’s supply portal and match our production scheduling with their forecast. We can implement kanban, with these electronic portals. There are efficiencies and cost reductions to be gained with our management system.