https://cdn.mtdcnc.global/cnc/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/16173932/61-Equator-system-being-used-to-inspect-programmed-aerospace-part-960x500.jpg
    Measurement

    Renishaw enables growth at major aerospace manufacturer

    • By Renishaw plc
    • July 16, 2020
    • 3 minute read

    When Senior Aerospace Weston wanted to become more efficient in the inspection of critical machined aerostructure parts, the company turned to Renishaw and its Equator™ gauging system. The Equator gauge has cut inspection times per part by around 75% and introduced more comprehensive component traceability.

    Background

    Senior Aerospace supplies a range of complex machined components and sub-assemblies for commercial aviation. At the company’s machine shop in Earby, 95% of output is for Airbus aircraft, mainly A320 and A321, but also A330, A380 and A350.

    Most of the components are aerostructure (wing and mainframe) components; everything from small items measuring 50mm, up to large engine pylon brackets and landing gear fittings.

    Challenge

    Some complex aerostructure parts were taking 10 minutes to inspect using Senior Aerospace’s existing CMMs. This would often cause bottlenecks and limitations around the CMMs. To address the problem, the company introduced manual inspection methods using traditional equipment and hard gauging with limited effect.

    With build-rates increasing, Senior Aerospace Weston recognised its responsibility to become more efficient with in-cycle measurement without compromising quality.

    “Inspection cycle time has been cut by 75%. Previously a manual measurement would be taken and recorded on paper; now, we have fully electronic reports with every dimension recorded. We can also use trend data to help identify potential areas for improvement in manufacturing.”

    Solution

    “We spoke with Renishaw and they proposed the Equator gauge, which is another level up from a traditional 3-axis CMM in terms of speed,” explains CMM Programmer Andy Wright.

    The thermally-insensitive Equator system is a flexible gauge that is designed to provide speed, repeatability and ease-of-use.

    “We have 70 parts that could fit on the gauging system, so there is high potential,” states Mr Wright, who is also impressed with the system’s ease of use. “No special skills are required; the operator simply loads the part into the fixture, lets the cycle run and receives an easy-to-read report.”

    Another factor behind the success of the project has been the sales and applications support from Renishaw: “The support we receive is first class,” says Mr Wright. “Renishaw is very quick to answer any queries, and it almost feels like we’ve been assigned our own special support team.”

    A key part of the support team for Senior Aerospace Weston is Renishaw Applications Engineer, Ed Clarke, who comments: “For any customer with a turnkey project, we will provide support for their project. If there are any queries, the customer can come directly to us for support.”

    Results

    Among the parts inspected at Senior Aerospace Weston using the Equator gauge is a titanium wing flap track component for Airbus.

    “Over the years, we have gone through several process iterations and various equipment solutions trying to measure the part quicker with the required accuracy, but inspection would regularly fail due to component complexity and tight tolerances,” concedes Mr Wright. “However, using the Equator gauge we have been able to achieve a process that delivers accurate gauging and repeatability. The Equator measures around 25 different features on this part, taking just 90 seconds in total.”

    “The in-cycle measurement time has been significantly reduced, with our operators now just reviewing an electronic report,” says Mr Wright. “Inspection cycle time has been cut by 75%. Previously a manual measurement would be taken and recorded on paper; now, we have fully electronic reports with every dimension recorded. We can also use trend data to help identify potential areas for improvement in our manufacturing process.” 

    https://cdn.mtdcnc.global/cnc/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/16173932/61-Equator-system-being-used-to-inspect-programmed-aerospace-part-960x500.jpg

    Renishaw enables growth at major aerospace manufacturer

    When Senior Aerospace Weston wanted to become more efficient in the inspection of critical machined aerostructure parts, the company turned to Renishaw and its Equator™ gauging system. The Equator gauge has cut inspection times per part by around 75% and introduced more comprehensive component traceability.

    Background

    Senior Aerospace supplies a range of complex machined components and sub-assemblies for commercial aviation. At the company’s machine shop in Earby, 95% of output is for Airbus aircraft, mainly A320 and A321, but also A330, A380 and A350.

    Most of the components are aerostructure (wing and mainframe) components; everything from small items measuring 50mm, up to large engine pylon brackets and landing gear fittings.

    Challenge

    Some complex aerostructure parts were taking 10 minutes to inspect using Senior Aerospace’s existing CMMs. This would often cause bottlenecks and limitations around the CMMs. To address the problem, the company introduced manual inspection methods using traditional equipment and hard gauging with limited effect.

    With build-rates increasing, Senior Aerospace Weston recognised its responsibility to become more efficient with in-cycle measurement without compromising quality.

    “Inspection cycle time has been cut by 75%. Previously a manual measurement would be taken and recorded on paper; now, we have fully electronic reports with every dimension recorded. We can also use trend data to help identify potential areas for improvement in manufacturing.”

    Solution

    “We spoke with Renishaw and they proposed the Equator gauge, which is another level up from a traditional 3-axis CMM in terms of speed,” explains CMM Programmer Andy Wright.

    The thermally-insensitive Equator system is a flexible gauge that is designed to provide speed, repeatability and ease-of-use.

    “We have 70 parts that could fit on the gauging system, so there is high potential,” states Mr Wright, who is also impressed with the system’s ease of use. “No special skills are required; the operator simply loads the part into the fixture, lets the cycle run and receives an easy-to-read report.”

    Another factor behind the success of the project has been the sales and applications support from Renishaw: “The support we receive is first class,” says Mr Wright. “Renishaw is very quick to answer any queries, and it almost feels like we’ve been assigned our own special support team.”

    A key part of the support team for Senior Aerospace Weston is Renishaw Applications Engineer, Ed Clarke, who comments: “For any customer with a turnkey project, we will provide support for their project. If there are any queries, the customer can come directly to us for support.”

    Results

    Among the parts inspected at Senior Aerospace Weston using the Equator gauge is a titanium wing flap track component for Airbus.

    “Over the years, we have gone through several process iterations and various equipment solutions trying to measure the part quicker with the required accuracy, but inspection would regularly fail due to component complexity and tight tolerances,” concedes Mr Wright. “However, using the Equator gauge we have been able to achieve a process that delivers accurate gauging and repeatability. The Equator measures around 25 different features on this part, taking just 90 seconds in total.”

    “The in-cycle measurement time has been significantly reduced, with our operators now just reviewing an electronic report,” says Mr Wright. “Inspection cycle time has been cut by 75%. Previously a manual measurement would be taken and recorded on paper; now, we have fully electronic reports with every dimension recorded. We can also use trend data to help identify potential areas for improvement in our manufacturing process.”