Strut-Truss Design, 3D Printing Reduce Mass of Satellite…

Strut-Truss Design, 3D Printing Reduce Mass of Satellite…

Sep 26, 2017

“Strut-Truss Design, 3D Printing Reduce Mass of Satellite Structural Components” Featured in Design-2-Part Magazine PALO ALTO, Calif.—Space Systems Loral (SSL), a provider of satellites and spacecraft systems, recently announced that it has successfully introduced next-generation design and manufacturing techniques for structural components into its SSL 1300 geostationary satellite platform. Its first antenna tower that was designed using these techniques, which include additive manufacturing (3D printing), was launched last December on the JCSAT-15 satellite, the company said in a press release. “SSL is an innovative company that continues to evolve its highly reliable satellite platform with advanced technologies,” said Dr. Matteo Genna, chief technology officer and vice president of product strategy and development at SSL, in a company release. “Our advanced antenna tower structures enable us to build high performance satellites that would not be possible without tools such as 3D printing.” The highly optimized strut-truss antenna tower used on JCSAT-110A consisted of 37 printed titanium nodes and more than 80 graphite struts. The strut-truss design methodology is now standard for SSL spacecraft, with 13 additional structures in various stages of design and manufacturing, and has resulted in SSL’s using hundreds of 3D printed titanium structural components per year, according to the company. “We would like to thank our customer, SKY Perfect JSAT, for partnering with us on this important satellite manufacturing advance,” said Paul Estey, executive vice president, engineering and operations at SSL, in the release. “This breakthrough in satellite design is an example of SSL’s holistic approach to new technologies and its teamwork with satellite operators that need to maximize their satellites’ capability.” For SSL (www.sslmda.com), optimizing at the system level with additive manufacturing is reported to have enabled an average of 50 percent reductions in mass and schedule for large and complex structures. The savings over conventionally manufactured structural assemblies are much greater than what is possible with the optimization of an individual part. Since the launch of JCSAT-110A, SSL has completed assembly and testing on several other strut-truss structures and continues to expand its use of additive manufacturing and other next-generation design and manufacturing techniques, the company...

Automation, Robotics Are Key to Manufacturing PCB…

Automation, Robotics Are Key to Manufacturing PCB…

Sep 15, 2017

“Automation, Robotics Are Key to Manufacturing PCB Assemblies” By Mark Langlois, Design-2-Part Magazine Assembling a printed circuit board requires more than steady hands Robots aren’t just a cheaper assembly method—they’re almost required because some components are the size of ground pepper. Not coarse ground, either. “Today, in the end, automation is essential to manufacturing printed circuit boards,” said Accu-semblyPresident John Hykes, who founded the California firm in 1983 by making motion detectors with hand-held soldering guns in the family garage. He recruited the whole family, who turned out 100 to 200 of the detectors a week to start, and about 1,000 a week within a year. Accu-sembly added automated machines within a few years of the firm’s founding, Hykes said in a telephone interview with D2P. First, the company worked with surface mounted components. It learned and added components with leads. Then came ball grid arrays, which had to be X-ray inspected, and Accu-sembly automated the process. Accu-sembly (accu-sembly.com) operates today in a 30,000-square-foot factory with 100 employees in Duarte, California. The company’s markets include aerospace, industrial, commercial, and automotive businesses. As an electronics manufacturing services provider, Accu-sembly manufactures custom printed circuit board assemblies. In support of this, the firm provides design for manufacturing review, procurement and supply chain management, and testing services. Accu-sembly manufactures printed circuit board assemblies that meet IPC-A-610 and J-STD-001 class 2 and class 3 requirements. It can place the smallest 01005 (0.4mm x 0.2mm) chip components and large high pin count BGA devices. Its manufacturing processes are also suitable for placing tiny micro BGA devices as well. Hykes said in an emailed response that most of its products begin with surface mount device installation using fully automated assembly lines. “This includes solder paste screen printing, robotic P&P (pick and placement), and reflow. Our equipment and processes allow us to place large complex BGA (ball grid array) devices, as well as the tiniest parts and micro BGA devices. Through hole assembly is managed with a combination of wave soldering, selective wave soldering, and manual assembly. Post assembly inspection includes both automated optical inspection and X-ray inspection as necessary. Functional test routines using customer specific equipment is offered, along with flying probe electrical test...

Machine Job Shop Uses Flexible Manufacturing System…

Machine Job Shop Uses Flexible Manufacturing System…

Sep 11, 2017

“Machine Job Shop Uses Flexible Manufacturing System to Shorten Lead Times” By Mark Shortt, Design-2-Part Magazine L&R Precision Tooling has bolstered its capabilities for aerospace work with AS9100 certification and open capacity for horizontal machining Operating at the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains is a 20-year-old machine job shop that specializes in machining complex parts in titanium, Inconel, and other exotic materials to tolerances of plus or minus 0.0002 inch. L&R Precision Tooling Inc., of Lynchburg, Virginia, has made its mark turning out parts like titanium base plates for submarine antenna systems, Inconel housings used in deep oil well drilling, and specialized fasteners for the exterior of the International Space Station.  The company has also produced parts for use in surgical, night vision, fiber optic, nuclear plant inspection, and filtration products. Along with conventional CNC milling and turning equipment, L&R Precision deploys a pair of 7-axis Okuma Multus milling and turning machines, multiple 4- and 5- axis milling centers, and a 4-axis wire EDM machine at its 57,800-square-foot facility. But perhaps the crown jewel of its operations, and a key to L&R’s adaptability and future growth, is its Okuma Palletace / Fastems Flexible Manufacturing System (FMS),  currently configured with three Okuma MB 4000H horizontal machining centers. L&R has been using the flexible manufacturing system since January 2014, a year or two after the company’s founder, Allen Leath, had seen a Fastems Flexible Manufacturing System operating in an aerospace facility in the Midwest. Leath, whose company was already gearing up to become an AS9100 certified aerospace supplier, took an immediate interest in what a flexible manufacturing system could do for L&R and its customers. “It just made logical sense,” said Clay Leath, Allen’s brother and currently the president of L&R Precision Tooling, in a phone interview. “As a job shop, we get a lot of repeat jobs, but the quantities can be very small. So the more he thought about it, the more logical sense it made to have the machine with 52-pallet capacity. It allows you to set up repeat jobs and leave the tombstones fixtured up and ready to run. When a customer calls up for an order, they want it just as...

Innovation 101 for Manufacturers…

Innovation 101 for Manufacturers…

Aug 22, 2017

“Innovation 101 for Manufacturers: Harnessing the Power of New Business Models, Technologies, and Ecosystems to Bring Value to the Marketplace” By Mark Shortt, Design-2-Part Magazine Going out and seeing what your customers are up against on a daily basis is essential to solving their unmet needs, a pre-requisite for innovation. But manufacturers can also plant the seeds of innovation by establishing a culture that encourages collaboration, play, and experimentation. A new digital age is dawning in manufacturing, steadily making its mark from product design to factory floor operations, and even to finished products that convey data back to the manufacturer. Fueling this transformation are a host of powerful tools—data analytics, artificial intelligence (AI), and dynamic software algorithms—that quicken product development cycles and expand the functionality of products in areas like new materials, 3D printing, electronics manufacturing, automobile manufacturing, and mobile autonomous robots. Using an approach called generative design, engineers today can solve part design problems with the aid of algorithms that enable them to explore a greater range of solutions, including some that are counter-intuitive to traditional thinking. Algorithms are also employed to make mobile, autonomous robots smarter and more adaptive to changing environments in a manufacturing facility (see “Mobile Autonomous Robots Are Built for the Long Haul”). And digital manufacturing apps are now available for shop floor personnel. “We have a set of digital technologies that are exponentially advancing in terms of price / performance, and that is creating increasing opportunity for manufacturing firms to harness some of that capability and potential to deliver more value to the marketplace,” said John Hagel, co-chairman, Deloitte Center for the Edge, in an interview at the Exponential Manufacturing Summit in Boston in May. “At one level, the potential is exponentially increasing. So far, the actual capability is, at best, linearly increasing. So there’s a widening opportunity gap there.” Generative Design Gives Engineers More Solutions to Explore  For the last three years, Autodesk, Inc. has been incubating a technology that takes a different approach to computer-aided design (CAD). Instead of specifying points and lines in a CAD tool, engineers who are using Autodesk’s generative design tool can rely on artificial intelligence to solve for them. “Traditionally, a designer or an engineer...

Made in America – Da/Pro Rubber, Inc.

Made in America – Da/Pro Rubber, Inc.

May 26, 2017

Meet another quality supplier at the Design-2-Part Contract Manufacturing Show. Need rubber or silicone components? This company showed us that they control the process right down to making their own materials in house, now that’s control. The are worth watching and they are a preferred supplier of a Design-2-Part show. Da/Pro Rubber, Inc. is a leading custom manufacturer of precision rubber, TPE and plastic molding products since 1960. The proprietary Da/Pro Process automatically adjusts for rubber compound and rubber part configuration variables. The result is repeatability of precision high tolerance parts of consistent quality in production quantities minimizing the need for secondary deflashing operations. Da/Pro strives for world-class customer service by offering complete in-house capabilities from design assistance for the moldability of the component, rubber compound development, laboratory testing, mold construction, sub-assembly and full service quality assurance. Da/Pro’s precision molded rubber capabilities also include our class 10,000 clean room for molding health care and other precision molded rubber parts requiring special handling. Injection Molding Services Injection Molding Silicone Injection Molding Benefits Compression Molding Process Transfer Molding Process Plastic Injection Molding Comparison of Processes Micro Molding Da/Pro Processes – Custom compression rubber molding and transfer rubber molding consists of an automatically controlled rubber molding machine developed by Da/Pro Rubber. The custom molding complex is designed to adjust for compound or part configuration variables. The molding process is computer-controlled and monitored to maintain consistent molding conditions, thereby assuring duplication of product throughout the molding cycles. Da/Pro is well known for high precision, close tolerance custom molding services and can manufacture liquid injection molding (LIM) to these same demanding standards. Compression molding and LIM services are available in their class 10,000 clean room. 15 Malcolm Hoyt Dr, Newburyport, MA 01950 daprorubber.com (978) 463-8984...