Applied Engineering

Optimizing High Speed Machining of Aluminum with Production Module

Applied Engineering specializes in high-speed milling of aluminum components to close tolerances. They provide their customers major cost savings through their efficient machining processes, which allows Applied to quickly produce the parts customers need to get to market faster.

Applied Engineering began optimizing its processes with Production Module on three aluminum aerospace structure parts. Immediately, engineers began seeing significant savings in machine-hours, reduced cycle times, and tool consumption.

CHALLENGE

Applied Engineering needed to free up capacity on its existing machines for increased demand for the aerospace components. The team was looking for a scientific approach to solve their capacity issues in place of the typical trial and error approach. In their search for such a capability, they came across TWS’ material based machining process analysis. Applied Engineering put Production Module’s toolpath analysis capabilities to test with some of their most pressing capacity needs. 

APPROACH

Engineers from Third Wave Systems went onsite at Applied Engineering to train the Applied Engineering team and lead the optimization of three aluminum aerospace structure parts, including the center partition. The analysis needed to balance the tool life improvement with cycle time reduction. For operations where tool life was a concern, Load per Unit Length (linear pressure) needed to be monitored and controlled. For other operations, machine spindle and torque limits were the crucial constraints to me monitored while optimizing.

IMPACT

  • 25% cycle time reduction on 300-500 parts machined per month
  • 55% reduction in the number of tools used
  • Overall, Applied Engineering saw more than 4,250 machine hours in added capacity (nearly 80% of one machine) due to optimizing processes with Production Module

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