Original Date: 05/08/1995
Revision Date: 01/18/2007
Best Practice : MODIG Extrusion Router/Driller
Many aircraft components are fabricated from aluminum extrusion material, and to economically machine these parts is a critical factor in controlling costs. McDonnell Douglas Aerospace (MDA)-St. Louis is addressing this issue by investing in state-of-the-art machine tools that perform complex, labor-intensive operations automatically.
The MODIG Extrusion Router and Drill machine performs milling, drilling, and profiling on aluminum extrusions using CNC controls, high speed machining (HSM) technology and universal material holding fixtures. Built in Sweden, this five-axis machine has four linear axes and one rotary axis. It is equipped with an IBAG high frequency 40,000 RPM spindle and can machine at a feed rate greater than 300 ipm. It has a 24-station tool carousel with an automatic tool changer and dynamic tool tracking. The extrusion material in-feed and out-feed is automatic with a nine-station, indexable in-feed magazine. With the capability of performing all profile, mill, and drill operations on all surfaces of the extrusion for any part length ranging in size from 1/4-inch to 40 feet makes this machine a valuable asset in the fabrication of longerons.
Once the parts have been machined on the MODIG, they are automatically deburred on the VIKAT Profile deburring line. It is a fully enclosed deburring system of six polishing wheels for each surface of the extrusion and six abrasive cloth "fladder" wheels to radius all the edges of the machined part. The extrusion is fed through the system automatically by means of power drive wheels. The speed of the individual abrasive wheels can be controlled by independent variable speed motors. The polishing wheels are applied to the extrusion by pneumatic cylinders and are equipped with wear indicators. Adjustments for the different extrusion cross sections are made manually.
The time savings realized in the machining and deburring operations for the manufacture of the longerons used on the C-17 aircraft have been calculated as an average time for each operation based upon review of 508 parts. These savings amount to 6.88 hours per part.
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