Bombardier Aerospace (Wichita, KS), produces Bombardier Learjet Models 40, 45 and 60 business jets. When Drew Hanus, methods engineer, had a project requiring increased productivity, he turned to Advanced Machine & Engineering (AME, Rockford, IL) for assistance. He was already familiar with their products and had previous experience with AME. Dietmar Goellner, CEO of AME and Alvin Goellner, fixturing group product manager along with Jim Park, AME’s representative in Wichita, visited Hanus at the Wichita facility.
Bombardier was running 240 different parts through a cell comprised of four horizontal, 4-axis machines with a 28-pallet system and one vertical, 5-axis machine with an 8-pallet system.
AME’s team of experts demonstrated the advantages of subplates with hardened precision bushings and hardened threaded inserts on a 2-inch grid system. Because Hanus needed to change parts quickly from one setup to the next, it was shown that grid tombstones and plates, along with modular components, would allow him to locate and align very accurately and quickly on a 2-inch precision grid system.
Efficient ResultsHanus purchased several full-grid tombstones to be used with their palletized system along with subplates, components and precision dowel screws, which can be used for locating fixture plates onto tombstones or their pallets for quick changeover.
Bombardier’s pallets were shipped to AME, where they incorporated bushings and threaded inserts along with locating and mounting holes. A 2-inch grid system was integrated into their pallets and was inspected with AME’s coordinate measuring machine (CMM), one of the largest in the industry. Calibration blocks were added to check the probe for repeatability of the machines. These show when and where adjustments are needed to hold 0.0002-inch accuracy. A rotary axis check also is done on the fourth axis rotary table to ensure accuracy.
Today, 800 different parts are being run through two cells. Monolithic parts are run on one setup. Now, Bombardier enjoys 91% savings on set-up time and a total saving of 81% on cycle time over the old dedicated system.
“The new system played a major role in allowing us to achieve our Six Sigma goals for this segment of our fabrication process,” Hanus says. “We now have improved set-up time; we are producing better quality parts and saving money in the long run.”
Advanced Machine & Engineering