Aerospace Manufacturing previews some of the exhibitors expected at this year’s upcoming Advanced Engineering 2018, being held on October 31st and November 1st at the NEC Birmingham.

We begin our rundown with XYZ Machine Tools (Stand CM40). Central to the stand will be the UMC-5X simultaneous 5-axis, gantry-style, machining centre. The level of technology included as standard with the XYZ UMC-5X is introducing a whole new group of potential customers to the benefits of simultaneous 5-axis machining.

The UMC-5X is available at a very competitive price point, yet comes with innovative technology such as Traori/Kinematic functions for 5-axis simultaneous machining, as well as integrated Smart Machining Technology (SMT) and thermal growth compensation. The control system can be either the Siemens 840DSL ShopMill or, the Heidenhain iTNC 640 HSCI system. Both controls ensuring high precision, high speed, simultaneous 5-axis machining.



Other key features are the front loading 600mm diameter trunnion rotary table, with a high accuracy, direct drive, high torque motor providing 90rpm rotation of the table. The tilting axes are servo worm driven (torque motor option) that provides ±120° of movement and just 2.5 seconds for full rotation with a maximum table load of 600kg. Of interest is that due to the table configuration and machine design, when the table is tilted 90° towards the rear (component facing forward), there remains 500mm of Y-axis travel forward of the table surface. This is much greater than many competitor machines.

Elsewhere, the Ceratizit Group (Stand Q15) has brought together four highly established cutting tool brands: Ceratizit; Komet; Klenk and WNT to consolidate and enhance its support for customers from across the engineering manufacturing spectrum.

Each brand is a market-leader, but are now being brought together to deliver a much wider range of products, technical know-how and customer support. In the UK and Ireland customers they will be under the auspices of Ceratizit UK & Ireland.

Ceratizit is an innovator in the development and manufacture of innovative cutting tool solutions covering indexable insert and solid carbide tooling. Customers range from OEMs in the automotive, aerospace, power generation and rail industries, down through their supply chains. Throughout its 95-year history the development of hard materials for cutting tool and wear resistance applications has been at the heart of the company’s innovative strategy.

Komet is a technology leader in the area high-precision drilling, reaming, milling, threading and mechatronic tools. It has thrived through innovation and quality, which has placed it at the forefront of developing solutions that are tailored for individual customer requirements.

WNT provides customers with industry leading customer service through its European network of distribution and technical sales subsidiaries. It operates in a distinct way to ensure that its customers are kept at the forefront of metalcutting efficiency, providing next day delivery on any of the more than 55,000 machining solutions in its range, said to be the largest selection in the industry.

Klenk is focussed primarily on the aerospace sector, where it leads the way in rotary cutting tools for drilling, milling, reaming and countersinking applications. Many of its products are custom-designed for individual customers around the world.

The Ceratizit Group is renowned for the development of innovative cutting tools especially for the aerospace sector, where products such as its insert grade 5240 is ideal for the machining heat resistant alloys and many of its indexable inserts, solid carbide mills, drills and taps have been specifically developed for aerospace materials such as titanium.

Moving on, optical measurement specialist Alicona (Stand D22) has increased its surface metrology range with the addition of an Optical Micro CMM.

The newly-developed Alicona µCMM is said to be the only purely optical micro-coordinate 3D measuring system available and provides high levels of accuracy not available on multi-sensor machines. Users benefit from all the advantages of tactile coordinate measuring technology with optical surface measurement to measure dimensions, position, shape and surface finish of components with just the one optical sensor.

When supplied with GD&T software the µCMM offers high geometric accuracy of a number of 3D features in relation to each other. This provides the ability to measure small surface features with sub-micron accuracy in a very short time. In addition to geometric position users are able to measure surface finish in the same measurement cycle.

The range of measurable surfaces includes composites such as plastic, PCD, CFRP, ceramics, chrome, silicon and so on including matt and polished, reflective components. The simple automated operation is implemented by single-button solutions built into a specially designed hand-held remote controller. Air-bearing axles with linear drives enable wear-free use and high-precision and rapid measurement, making the µCMM ideal for permanent use in production.

In the same aisle, PDJ Vibro (Stand D50) will promote its comprehensive range of new and refurbished finishing bowls, barrels and high energy centrifugal equipment, as well as the vast range of consumables on offer and the company’s repair and subcontract finishing services.

The technology ensures that deburring, descaling, edge breaking, surface finishing and superfinishing of components is carried out automatically to a high degree of repeatability that is unattainable by manual processing. At the same time, parts can be degreased, rinsed, dried and pre-treated for anodising, chemical blacking or painting.

More than 120 machines are available for inspection at the supplier’s Bletchley headquarters, which houses a showroom, technical centre and demonstration facility. PLC dosing of additives, water metering and recirculation, automatic parts separation, drying and acoustic suppression can be supplied with the machines. In stock also are over 70 tonnes of the main consumable items, which run to over 6,000 varieties including ceramic and porcelain media, detergents and other compounds.

CGTech (Stand R45) will demonstrate the new version of Vericut CNC machine simulation and optimisation software at the NEC this year.

Machine simulation with Vericut detects collisions, close calls and detects over-travel errors. With input from thousands of users worldwide from every industry, the focus of Vericut 8.2 has been to provide features that improve simulation visibility, speed workflow, and streamline each user’s verification process. These include a Right-Mouse-Button Ribbon which puts favourite Vericut functions just one click away, and provides convenient access to external applications that programmers find useful.

In addition, a configurable Head-Up Display (HUD) improves simulation monitoring and visibility by showing the NC program, or machining and cutting status information, overlaid on top of Vericut’s graphical views.

Vericut 8.2 also adds Force Turning. Force is a physics-based NC program optimisation module that analyses and optimises cutting conditions to achieve ideal chip thicknesses, while managing the cutting forces and spindle power required. Force Turning optimises turning, and mill-turn operations, when combined with Force Milling. Force Turning makes it easy for anyone to create NC programs for optimal cutting of inside/outside diameters, shoulders, as well as in corners and tight spaces, without the worry of encountering excessive cutting forces or high spindle power demands.

Additionally, with the latest software release comes advancements in Vericut’s Additive Manufacturing capabilities. Even more realism has been added to additive simulation, and it detects many common error conditions programmers face when creating additive parts.

CGTech will also demonstrate Composites 8.1 release of VCP and VCS, which features a completely redefined Graphical User Interface (GUI), enhanced suite of programming and analysis tools, and redefined methodology through the use of the powerful new Laminate Manager. The Laminate Manager helps users easily manage files, processes, and batch actions for the entire composite laminate. Internal refinements ensure that large projects are now able to be programmed and simulated in a fraction of the previous time.

Performance coating specialist, Indestructible Paint (Stand Q28) is presenting its growing range of services for the ninth time at this year’s show.

The company’s commitment to research and development continues to produce advanced coating technology solutions, often enhanced by close customer collaboration. Its leading role in creating chrome-free alternatives is a prime example with product developments that have now moved beyond the laboratory into detailed industry trials at the heart of the company’s stand.

Indestructible Paint is also highlighting its developing global distributorship network and its commitment to optimising environmental performance. The company’s belief in developing and growing its own workforce skills – helping it to remain at the leading edge of this specialist sector – is also in the spotlight.

In the next aisle, Third Dimension (Stand R47) is showcasing its handheld laser measurement system, GapGun. A double winner of the Queen’s Award for Enterprise, Third Dimension develops and supplies its innovative, non-contact optical measurement systems to the leading names in the aerospace, automotive, rail and energy sectors worldwide, globally revolutionising quality control checks.

At the other end of the show halls, Rösler (Stand A14) will be promoting its ‘plug and play’ RMO trough machine – a compact, mobile and versatile

Rösler offers a new dimension of batch and single item production with the introduction of the RMO. Equipped with a 220 Volt single-phase connection enabling it to be easily placed at the side of the manufacturing machine, and with its 3,000rpm motor it is capable of offering short process times with a high grinding effect.

The trough can be easily divided by fitting a series of polyurethane coated plates for the contact-free treatment of sensitive components. And by using the dividers, parts of different sizes can be deburred, surface improved and even ball burnished by using different media in the specific compartments. This is a very versatile, mobile machine capable of smoothing, radiusing and/or polishing AM/3D printed parts wherever needed.

In the composites zone, Group Rhodes (Stand M101) will be highlighting its expertise in bespoke metal and composite forming machinery.

The company is a market leader in the field of superplastic forming (SPF) and diffusion bonding (DB), having designed, manufactured and installed titanium and aluminium forming cells for leading aerospace and automotive manufacturers worldwide.

Group Rhodes’ composite machinery is used to produce structural components for production road cars as well as flight critical components for a variety of aircraft. The company also offers a wide range of cold forming technologies for specialist metalforming applications across a number of industrial sectors.

Recent projects completed by Group Rhodes include manufacturing two SPF/DB presses for a North American aircraft manufacturer (rated at 850 and 1,800 US Tonnes respectively) and a 1,000 tonne multi-axis composite moulding press for the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) in South Yorkshire. The press for the AMRC is being used as part of a state-of-the-art facility to assist a wide range of UK companies to stay at the leading edge of composite development.

In addition to promoting its range of 5-axis CNC machining centres, CMS (Stand R93) will be introducing its range of machines for forming composite and plastic materials.

The Masterform machine has been specifically created by CMS for long-fibre composite material thermoforming and works with a clamp force up to 100 tons, ensuring the best moulding of complex shapes and tight corners. Application fields include: vacuum forming; pressure forming; mechanical forming and twin-sheet forming.

The forming machine enables extremely fast set-up and cycle times and it can process non-composite materials too. Within the Masterform machine range users also have the ability when thermoforming a single sheet to tandem load for increased productivity. Versatility is also enhanced by the heating system, which operates on both sides of the sheet.

The structure of the machine ensures compact overall dimensions and it is equipped with a special integral moving table system, which enables interlocking between the two die halves. Additionally, the machine can be controlled by a single operator as the functions are all automated and self-programmable.

Also in the halls, Connect 2 Cleanrooms (C2C) (Stand D42) can help organisations reduce failure rates and improve consistency for clients and add value and efficiency to a process.

C2C design each cleanroom specifically around an organisation’s production environments, to give an added level of performance and efficient functionality. Visitors to Advanced Engineering can discover its scalable cleanroom design options, such as panel system, hardwall and softwall wall construction.

Using offsite construction methods, C2C deliver consistent cleanroom environments, with 100% personalisation. Connecting interfaces between each cleanroom and facility are managed to precise tolerances and as every component is pre-engineered, so a ‘clean’ on site assembly is provided.

Oerlikon Balzers (Stand R2) offers surface solutions that significantly improve the performance and durability of precision components and tools for many industries. Recently, the UK operation successfully completed the transition from AS9100 Rev C to AS9100 Rev D to go alongside its Nadcap accreditation at its site in Milton Keynes. The site is well on the way to becoming the preferred supplier of physical vapour deposition (PVD) and plasma-assisted chemical vapour deposition (PACVD) coatings and establishing itself as a competence centre for the aerospace industry.

This has also been recognised by Airbus who has recently certified its BALINIT C coating for copper alloys. To go alongside the new accreditations, Oerlikon Balzers’ Milton Keynes site has seen significant investment by adding new INGENIA coating equipment to its portfolio. INGENIA offers fast and flexible arc coating that will enable the facility to offer faster turnarounds for the cutting tool market.

In the same hall, precision engineers seeking metal heat treatment and PVD coatings will see a much-expanded offering from the Wallwork Group (Stand Q6). A new Newcastle facility is now fully integrated into the group. In Cambridge, it has increased vacuum brazing capacity with an additional furnace and gained further Rolls-Royce accreditations. While at Birmingham, more aluminium processing has been added.

The company has also added new fully accredited mechanical testing facility, and so no longer has to rely on external testing. Running tensile, compression and hardness tests on materials and components prior to and post heat treatment, is now much quicker and feeds data into refining existing metal heat treatment processes and component design. The stand is also worth a visit if engineers are looking for an environmentally safe replacement to hard chromium plating (HCP). The company has developed a PVD coating as a full HCP replacement that meets REACH in the EU and OSHA regulations in the US.

3D measurement and imaging solutions specialist, Faro (Stand F21) will be demonstrating the next generation of Laser Line Probes (LLP), the Faro Prizm. Prizm is the first LLP available that includes the ability to scan in high resolution, 3D colour. Prizm is designed specifically to operate as a compact, tightly integrated solution with the Faro Quantum ScanArm arm product family and extends the Faro tradition of delivering maximum measurement consistency for both direct-to-parts contact and non-contact requirements in every working environment.

Prizm has certified accuracy for the most demanding metrology challenges. The colour scan allows users to view and manipulate a detail rich, 3D colour point cloud model of a part or assembly on a computer screen. This is ideally suited for moulded parts where colour and surface texture are an essential requirement of the complete inspection.

Also at the show will be Faro’s QuantumS. Certified to ISO 10360-12:2016, the most rigorous international measurement quality standard in existence, the QuantumS is said to set new standards in articulated arm coordinate measuring performance and durability.

Ascent Aerospace (Stand Q83) will be promoting its assembly solutions for airframers from assembly jigs through to automated production systems. Ascent’s solutions are used by OEMs, tier 1s and tier 2s, to build components, major aerostructures, and final assembly. The company will also feature its patent-pending layup mould concept, HyVarC at Advanced Engineering’s Innovations Showcase. Hybrid layup moulds combine the advantageous characteristics of Invar and composite for a lightweight, masterless tool that is faster and less expensive to manufacture. The thin Invar backup structure and face plate results in a tool that is 50% lighter, with the long-term vacuum integrity of a traditional Invar tool. And the tight-tolerance, machined composite working surface is easily modified, making it ideal for prototype and development applications.

Another aerospace exhibitor will be Alvant (Stand K60). It will be revealing its new customisable MMC multi-phase material, specifically targeted for the aerospace applications. Positioned as a sustainable and capable alternative to titanium and carbon composites, Alvant’s new material looks similar to a sandwich panel architecture, but is produced with a ‘one shot’ manufacturing process. According to MMC it can significantly increase component strength and stiffness to weight ratios.

In addition, it is possible to create more complex shapes whilst reducing the post processing and assembly times usually associated with sandwich panel construction. The method, according to Alvant, ensures the product is more resistant to shrinkage, damage and high temperature, making it eminently suitable for harsher environments. Alvant will have both commercial and technical specialists on hand to discuss aerospace-specific applications and provide background on other aircraft projects it is involved in, including a lightweight landing gear study with Safran.

Aro PR and Marketing (Stand N122) is a specialist in raising the profile of engineering, scientific and composites companies. The company will show how improving marketing can help small businesses with a range of problems, from boosting sales through to staff recruitment. The Aro team will be on hand to describe how to get the most from marketing activity, including PR, social media, copywriting, graphic design, website development, awards applications (such as the Queen’s Award for Enterprise) and SEO. These need to be working as hard as any piece of plant or machinery, according to Aro PR. Free 30-minute sessions will be available to show companies how they can improve their marketing strategy.

At the far end of the same aisle the West of England Aerospace Forum (WEAF) (Stand N9) is showcasing the huge range and depth of the region’s capabilities at Advanced Engineering. WEAF represents the whole aerospace and defence supply chain, from global OEMs through to SMEs in the South West of England, the second largest aerospace cluster in Europe. The region contributes over £6 billion in sales and 20,000 jobs. The aerospace cluster has also recently delivered an unrivalled programme of events, such as the Aerospace Ambassador Awards and developed major SME focused innovation projects, such as NATEP and AeroSpace Cornwall.

Aero Consultants UK (Stand Q50) offers a comprehensive range of materials, equipment and allied services to manufacturers of composite components.

At this years Advanced Engineering show it will be exhibiting new additions to its range of Aqua water-soluble tooling materials. These new materials are designed to offer exceptional strength, surface finish and easy wash out. They also include a sprayable and dippable sealer that allows the range to be offered up for new applications and designs. Capable of withstanding cures of up to 180⁰C and pressures of 8 bar, the Aqua range is perfect for Autoclave, RTM, and pressure cured mouldings. It allows the one-shot manufacture of lightweight components with near impossible twists, turns, proportions, and undercuts. Aero Consultants UK also supplies Henkel Aerospace, Dexmet Lightning Strike Protection and many other lightweight composite products.

Elsewhere, materials information technology experts, Granta Design (Stand H34) offers market-leading software to manage and apply materials and process information. The company says it helps engineering enterprises to meet challenges, such as innovation, risk and cost reduction, time-to-market, sustainability, lightweighting, and compliance.

With effective management of critical information about materials throughout the product design and development process, enterprises can: improve global standardisation, efficiency, and quality; minimise supply chain risk; and ensure traceable, consistent materials information is provided to downstream engineers and analysts, for example, within PLM, CAD, and CAE.

GRANTA MI is said to be the industry standard for capturing and managing materials information in engineering enterprises. Supporting smart materials choices – for example, to replace obsolete materials or select materials that meet both performance and safety criteria – is the CES Selector 2018 solution.

Finally, ZwickRoell (Stand N32) has decades of experience working closely with the world’s leading aerospace manufacturers. It provides the testing technology and expertise required to assist engineers and researchers acquire high quality test results in their materials or component testing applications. Whether the focus is on evaluating the strength and durability of aerospace materials or components, ZwickRoell can assist customers in determining the optimum testing solution to satisfy their particular requirements.

Universal Rough Grinding Agent

Its comprehensive product range enables it to configure testing systems which satisfy the prescriptive requirements of internationally recognised aerospace testing standards and deliver test results which are accurate, repeatable, reproducible and traceable. Its stand will feature a representative range of testing products and the industry standard testing software testXpert III which is the result of close cooperation with software users in the materials testing industry and the experience of over 30,000 successful testXpert installations.

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