Experts are better by half

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THREE companies have joined forces to support a UK aerospace business in reducing its machine run time on a project by half.

The expertise of Dormer Tools, Heller Machine Tools and Open Mind has benefited Midland Aerospace in turning a 40-hour run time for a component to less than 20 hours.

Midland Aerospace - part of the Calder Group, a £150m pan-European engineering group with eight operating subsidiaries in five countries - is a specialist speed shop manufacturer of small to medium sized complex structural parts for aerospace customers worldwide. It partners aerospace suppliers from major aircraft manufacturers through to small maintenance operations.

Midland Aerospace was working on a high-end structural component for a leading aerospace organisation, but needed to make the project more efficient. It turned to Heller’s FT4000 five-axis machine, based at Dormer’s productivity centre in South Yorkshire, for assistance.

Eamon Lyons, managing director of Midland Aerospace, said: “The run time we previously had in creating the component was not acceptable and we needed to massively reduce it.

“After speaking with Heller Machine Tools at the Farnborough Air Show we quickly looked at how their new FT4000 5-axis machine could do the job for us.

“Together with the cuttings tools from Dormer and Open Mind’s software, we were able to reduce the run time significantly. All three were true to their word and delivered on what they said could be achieved.

“By having the right machine, using the appropriate cutting tools and software to reduce the run time on this component has enabled us to win additional business to work on more projects. We look forward to working with them again in the future.”

The component for Midland Aerospace was engineered at Dormer’s productivity centre, within the Advanced Manufacturing Park between Sheffield and Rotherham. The facility is fast becoming a unique workshop with the capacity to meet a variety of machining needs.

Matt Johnson, applications engineer at Dormer Tools, added: “We have been very pleased to help Midland Aerospace reduce their run time on the component quite significantly. This is an example of how the collaboration of expertise we have developed in the productivity centre at Dormer can create a cost-effective return for businesses.”

Alan Robinson, area sales manager at Heller Machine Tools, said: “We were delighted to support Midland Aerospace in this project.

“This was one of the first opportunities where all three companies have worked together since we installed the FT4000 at Dormer’s productivity centre and it came together very well.”

Ken Baldwin, Open Mind UK sales manager, says: “Midland Aerospace is already an Open Mind customer, however the Dormer productivity centre utilises our latest hyperMAXX roughing module and this drastically improved metal removal rates and improved tool life by over 200 percent on this project.

“This result may not have been as impressive without the high specification Heller FT4000, Dormer’s S356 solid carbide end mills and the overall project management and expertise on hand at the Dormer productivity centre.”

lDormer Tools and Sandvik Coromant are staging open days on July 5 and 6, where businesses from around the country can visit their fully serviced productivity centre at the Advanced Manufacturing Park (AMP).

All of Dormer’s partners will be in attendance at the open days including Heller Machine Tools, Kelch, Open Mind, Delcam, System3R, and Hexagon Metrology.

All attendees will be offered the chance to enter a free prize draw to win an iPod Touch, with preloaded Coromant and Dormer Apps.

To attend the open days call Dormer Tools on 0870 850 4466.