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Optimisation increases capacity for Arrowsmith Engineering

Optimisation increases capacity for Arrowsmith Engineering

Optimisation increases capacity for Arrowsmith Engineering

Arrowsmith engineers are developing parts for the most advanced aerospace engines.

The Coventry based aerospace supplier is a specialist in precision turning, milling, thread rolling and grinding, producing a range of complex components in titanium, nimonic, stainless steel, exotic metal and engineering plastics. As a critical supplier to a blue-chip manufacturer, it’s vital for Arrowsmith to supply quality machined parts that are fully certified. With a thirst to improve performance and drive profitability in a competitive marketplace, Arrowsmith strives to become more efficient. To increase capacity for future demand, Arrowsmith want to ensure they operate as lean as possible. Supply partner, MSC is their number one choice, helping them to optimise their machining processes.

 

As a critical supplier to a blue-chip manufacturer, it’s vital for Arrowsmith to supply quality machined parts that are fully certified. With a thirst to improve performance and drive profitability in a competitive marketplace, Arrowsmith strives to become more efficient. To increase capacity for future demand, Arrowsmith want to ensure they operate as lean as possible. Supply partner, MSC is their number one choice, helping them to optimise their machining processes.

Challenge

Leading aerospace company Arrowsmith is always looking at ways to push the boundaries further to achieve the best results for them and their customers. In a fast-moving, competitive market, Arrowsmith looks to ensure projects are implemented right first time, as well as manufacturing operations with greater efficiency and repeatability. Projects included manufacturing a variety of high-quality components made from exotic materials. Due to the nature of the components having several compound angles, the parts needed manufacturing on a 5-axis machine. However, their current machinery was at full capacity and to meet the demand Arrowsmith faced two options; to purchase more machines or to review their current end-to-end processes.

Approach

Arrowsmith turned to its supply partner MSC for advice on the best approaches to increase capacity without the need to purchase additional machinery. MSC’s application engineers began by analysing and benchmarking the current processes. To guarantee exceptional position accuracy and precise repeatability when mounting a vice or bespoke workholding, MSC utilised the zero-point fixturing system  at Arrowsmith.  Furthermore, MSC application engineers optimised all roughing toolpaths by implementing high feed and trochoidal strategies. When developing the finishing toolpaths MSC applied cutter compensation to all critical features. This allowed the operator to have fine control over tight tolerances and finished product. With this in place, a tool regrind process was implemented to reduce tooling costs, and ultimately cost-per-part. In addition to the above improvements, MSC engineers identified commonalities across a variety of components, meaning the manufacturing processes could utilise the same group of tools across multiple applications, leading  to greater efficiency.

Solution

After applying different strategies and readdressing the tooling to suit the specific material, MSC generated toolpaths that reduced cycle times. This approach meant that Arrowsmith could increase capacity to meet future demand and could therefore take on more complex projects. The machines became more efficient, processes were improved, and projects were implemented correctly the first time.

“Arrowsmith Engineering Ltd has collaborated with MSC on several complex projects. Their understanding of metal cutting and focus on creating an efficient process makes me confident we are working with the right partner.”

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