Tooling & Production - May/June 2009 - (Page 18)
predictive maintenance Watchful eye keeps tabs on 575 machine tools Aerospace supplier sees new productivity heights, lower costs any aerospace component suppliers are seeking ways to improve their productivity and bottom line results in the face of uncertain economic times and the resulting budget tightening. Spirit AeroSystems in Wichita, KS, a primary supplier to Boeing and other aircraft builders, has been ahead of the curve. M have been performed since Fenn helped establish the group shortly after joining the company in 1982. Every retroﬁt planned or in progress and every machine tool in the facility, approximately 575 at present, is monitored under a predictive maintenance program. Through this program, all machine parameters of wear, uptime, routine maintenance, and even environmental impact are monitored, with an eye on the day when a planned retroﬁt or complete overhaul of the machine will be required. By doing this, Spirit has conserved millions of dollars in new capital expense, while improving the performance of its machine tool ﬂeet. Gantry mills upgrades Several Cincinnati (now MAG/ Cincinnati) gantry mills are essential to the manufacturing of large metal aircraft components, as well as materials handling structures such as nacelles, which house jet engines. Originally equipped with SieEd Fenn stands in front of a Cincinnati gantr y mill completely retroﬁt by his team at mens Acramatic controls, the foreSpirit AeroSystems. runner to the advanced Sinumerik Through a predictive maintenance program 840D CNC platform that is now used on most and continuous upgrades to the controls, moof the machine tools at Spirit, the gantry mills tors, drives, and other components on the multimachine the majority of the metal parts, primaraxis gantry mills that produce many of the strucily from grades of aluminum, titanium, and tool tures here, Spirit has realized productivity gains steels. without the capital investment of new machine “Because we have periodically upgraded our tool purchases. machine controls, along with the motor and Credit goes to Ed Fenn and his team of retrodrive packages, gear boxes, spindles, encoders, ﬁt/machine shop. Under the direction of Fenn, and column structures on our gantry mills, we the facilities manager for retroﬁt/machine shop have tracked better productivity numbers on all operations, over 275 retroﬁts of machine tools of them,” Fenn explained. 18 May/June 2009 www.ToolingAndProduction.com
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