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Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2009, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Seven-machine flexible manufacturing system ordered by aircraft constructor
Article Type: Aerospace technology From: Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology: An International Journal, Volume 21, Issue 6
Despite the economic downturn, German machine tool builder, Dörries Scharmann Technologie (DST) GmbH, has received one of its biggest ever orders from aircraft constructor, Korea aerospace industries (KAI), based in the south coast city of Sacheon. The multi-million euro deal was won against stiff international competition.
It is for the supply of a flexible manufacturing system (FMS) comprising seven ECOSPEED F five-axis machining centres linked by a rail-guided transport system with three loading and unloading stations and 60 storage stations for machine pallets.
The investment follows the award to KAI last autumn of a contract to manufacture and deliver main wing structures for the Airbus consortium's next generation of A350 XWB wide-body airliners, of which 200 will be built over ten years from 2010.
The DST machining centres will be used to produce the ribs that form the aerofoil shape of the wings. The first machine will arrive in Korea in November 2009, with the seventh scheduled for delivery in January 2014.
The ECOSPEED F uses the Sprint Z3 parallel kinematic machining head, which DST claims is the most productive and efficient solution on the market for machining aluminum aircraft structural parts. All of the machining centres are designed to produce workpieces up to a maximum of 2,000×6,000 mm.
The Sprint Z3's C-axis positions the drilling/milling head, allowing the machine to remove material at any dihedral angle (the angle between the wing and the fuselage) between ±130°. The spindle head can be exchanged automatically, offering more complex metalcutting options than a conventional machining centre. The interference contour between tool shaft and machining head is only 50 mm.
The drive power of the high-performance spindle is 120 kW (100 per cent duty cycle) and it reaches speeds of up to 30,000 rpm, with a maximum torque is 83 Nm. With these values, combined with the Sprint Z3's parallel-kinematic machining head, the ECOSPEED F achieves higher feed rates than conventional machines.
Each machine has a rack-type, 125-position tool magazine. A vacuum workpiece clamping system, video monitoring and Sinumerik 840 D control system complete the specification (Figures 2 and 3).
Details are available from: DS Technology (UK) Ltd, Tel.: +44 (0)121 359 3637, Fax: +44 (0)121 359 1868.