Aircraft manufacturers have an ever-increasing need to keep costs down without affecting quality or lead time. In order to serve the needs of the aerospace industry, machine shops need to be on the cutting edge of the latest advances in manufacturing. An aircraft engine must be reliable, as losing power in an airplane is a substantially greater problem than in an automobile. Aircraft parts operate at temperature, pressure, and speed extremes, and therefore need to perform reliably and safely under a wide variety of conditions. For all of these reasons, it is of extreme importance that parts be machined with great precision and uniformity, keeping the following considerations in mind.
Engine and fuel-system components typically feature complex surfaces at various angles, containing many holes of different sizes. Positioning these holes and surfaces preciselyand repeatedly requires expertise with top-of-the-line machining tools. Five-axis machining, in which both rotary and linear axes move during cutting is by far the preferred method for producing these parts. Because head orientation changes continuously when machining, precise control of cutting conditions can improve tool life, accuracy, and surface finish. It can mean fewer cutter passes, faster cycles, and better access to undercuts. And a single setup means fewer fixtures and positioning errors.