Material characterization is commonly undertaken across many industries, including the plastic, ceramic, minerals coating and chemical industries, enabling scientists to identify the internal structure and properties of a material. This technique helps scientists to understand the function of the various material components and verify whether the material under investigation meets contamination specifications.
For almost 20 years, Marianna Airmotive Corporation (MAC) in the USA has been repairing and overhauling structural components for the US Air Force’s largest aircraft, the C5 Galaxy. As typical for most repair facilities, Marianna does not have access to the aircraft itself so it must build and certify fixtures that it can use to assemble and fabricate structural components to tight tolerances. “The FARO Laser Tracker’s ability to provide realtime measurements directly against the CAD data enables engineers to instantly visualize deviations from the nominal,” said Bill Visage, an engineer associated with Marianna Airmotive. “It has dramatically reduced the time required to certify large parts, tooling and machinery while also resulting in substantial quality improvements.”
Metrology is widely used to trace inaccuracies in blade geometry and positioning, which may cause energy conversion loss and untimely blade failure. The measurement of turbine blades used to be primarily the domain of a CMM and a tactile probe, which provide the required accuracy, but at slow or moderate throughput times.
Compuware Corporation, the technology performance company, has released the results of an international study looking at the impact of business and employee driven IT trends and models on manufacturing. The CIO survey reveals how models such as cloud computing and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), as well as trends such as the consumerisation of IT, social media and mobility are exposing new blind spots in IT management. One of the key consequences highlighted by the survey is how an overwhelming 85 percent of manufacturing sector CIOs worry that, as the consumerisation of IT gathers pace, it will lead to greater business risks.
After less than two years, The Schaeffler Group has successfully completed the design and build of the world’s largest, most powerful test rig for large size bearings. The test rig is now fully operational and was officially opened at Schaeffler’s Schweinfurt plant in Germany in November. The Astraios test rig – named after a Greek mythology Titan who fathered the four wind gods – enables large size bearings weighing up to 15 tonnes with outside diameters up to 3.5m, particularly those used in wind power applications, to be fully tested in realistic conditions using a comprehensive simulation programme.
With a growth of 35% in 2010 and an estimated growth of 20% in 2011, the European Machine Vision Industry is going from strength to strength even when many other sectors are under extreme economic pressure. The prime reasons behind this growth are a combination of improved capabilities and generally decreasing prices within the industry itself, together with an increased demand, fuelled in part by an increased move towards automation in manufacturing industry but also by an even greater emphasis on quality.
Red Bull Technology – the manufacturing power behind the all-conquering Red Bull Racing Formula One team - has become the first UK company to harness the power of a relatively low-cost yet highly innovative piece of Heidenhain software that has not only saved the team a significant investment in capital equipment, but is also ensuring that its pattern-making machine accuracy is as true as possible to original design specification.
Environmental testing ensures that products operate in a physical environment such as extreme climatic conditions, at altitude or in the ocean. It is often a contractual requirement demanded by the defence, aerospace, automotive, rail and maritime industries; where the operating environments are harsh and safety, functionality and reliability are critical
The Barden Corporation is a world leader in the field of designing and manufacturing super precision ball bearings for the global aerospace industry. The Plymouth-based company manufactures bearings in P4 (ABEC7) quality and above.
Airbus’ Nantes site in France is a leader in the manufacture of composite structural parts, such as the nacelle air inlet cowls for the engines of A340-500/600, A350 and A380. Composite materials have gained popularity in high-performance structures that need to be lightweight, yet strong enough to take harsh loading conditions. The inner side of a nacelle air inlet is made of nature composite material and the leading edge is made of aluminum. Inlet cowls are designed for low weight and minimum aerodynamic resistance to help increase aircraft mileage.