Guhring Additive Tool Reduces Costs for XCEL Aerospace
Working closely with companies like Rolls-Royce, Collins Aerospace, Safran, Bombardier, ITP Aero, Marshall and Incora, XCEL #Aerospace is a subcontract manufacturer with an aerospace pedigree that few in the supply chain can match. Offering services from CNC machining, fabrication, assembly, additive manufacturing, kitting and even its own range of braided leads, the Essex manufacturer is an integral part of the supply chain for many aerospace OEMs.
To retain its position as a key supplier to the aerospace industry, the Romford Company invests heavily in the latest technology and innovation to ensure cost-effective manufacturing of high-quality precision components. As part of this drive to ensure cost-effective manufacturing, the ADS, BSI, WEAF and SiG members recently invited Birmingham based tooling manufacturer Guhring to review the machining process on an aerospace valve component. The problem for XCEL was the cost efficiency of its existing Woodruff type cutters that were being used to machine a cast aluminium component with a 9% silicon content.
#Guhring Accepts the Challenge
The previous solid carbide Woodruff cutter consisted of three teeth on a 21.7mm diameter tool, which was both expensive with relatively poor tool life. Only capable of cutting 10 components before tool replacement, the abrasive high silicone content aluminium was creating productivity, cost and surface finish issues for the aerospace experts. With two batch types, the Essex manufacturer is machining over 100 parts per month of this long-term project – a figure high enough to cause concern over tool life and productivity.
Invited to investigate the situation by XCEL’s Engineering and Machine Shop Manager Mr Alan French, Guhring’s Regional Sales Manager, Mr Dewar McKinlay offered an innovative solution. Commenting upon the situation, Mr McKinlay says: “We explained to XCEL that Guhring has a new method of manufacturing PCD tools by printing them on a MarkForged Metal X 3D printing machine.”