Quality Magazine

API Collaboration Honored with Defense Manufacturing Excellence Award

December 15, 2009

ROCKVILLE, MD-Automated Precision Inc.’s (API) efforts in volumetric accuracy for large machine tools (VALMT) was recognized with a Defense Manufacturing Excellence Award presented by the National Center for Advanced Technologies (NCAT).

The VALMT project was a collaborative effort under the direction of The National Center for Manufacturing Sciences (NCMS) and included partners Automated Precision Inc., The Boeing Corp., Siemens Energy and Automation, and MAG Cincinnati Machine, as well as, the DOD installations U.S. Air Force Logistics Center, Naval Foundry and Propeller Center, U.S. Navy Flight Readiness Center East, and the U.S. Army Anniston Depot.

Marketed today as API’s Volumetric Error Compensation (VEC), this process establishes a new methodology in volumetric error compensation for large machine tools. VEC has proven to reduce machine tolerances six to 10 times over previous methods, and the measurements can be finished in less than one day. It is estimated than the improvement over current assembly practices and measuring will save the Department of Defense (DOD) and the commercial aircraft industry millions of dollars annually.

“The innovative VALMT project will save the DOD millions while ensuring weapon systems are mission ready and available for our war fighters when they need them,” said NCMS Vice President Chuck Ryan. “This technology will also pave the way for reducing the manufacturing costs of commercial ships and aircraft, benefitting both government and industry.”

 Sam Easley, engineer/scientist, metallic processes at The Boeing Co., says, “This groundbreaking process will dramatically reduce assembly and fitting costs which represent up to 1% of the total cost per aircraft. On large programs like the F-18 or 700 aircraft series, we could save $100 million per year."    For more information, visit www.apisensor.com.