Spirit AeroSystems Using Robotics for Quality Inspection of…

Spirit AeroSystems Using Robotics for Quality Inspection of…

Jan 28, 2019

“Spirit AeroSystems Using Robotics for Quality Inspection of Large-Scale Aerospace Structures” Featured on Design-2-Part Magazine  WICHITA, Kan.—Spirit AeroSystems engineers have combined a wide range of robotics hardware and software technologies to meet the complex needs of inspecting the company’s composite aerospace components, such as fuselages, wings, and substructures, the company reported. “Typically, inspections for meeting customer requirements have been done by large, fixed systems that are difficult to adapt to new applications,” said Spirit Vice President, Global Quality, Dan Caughran, in a press release. “Our new approach is built around two industrial robots that can interchange among seven different sensors and multiple inspection methods. In short, had this technology not been available, we would have had to rely on solutions of far less flexibility and roughly twice the cost.” “Either cooperatively or independently, the robots automatically inspect complex composite parts up to 200 feet long, dramatically reducing the time required for inspection—sometimes up to 40 percent faster,” said Mike Grosser, Spirit’s lead nondestructive inspection (NDI) engineer. “Analysis of the results is achieved through advanced phased array digital signal processing, which can be automated through machine learning.” Spirit is implementing the new robotic NDI technology at its headquarters location in Wichita, Kansas, and plans to use similar technology at its Prestwick, Scotland, facility. Spirit engineers are also investigating and applying robotics technology for other manufacturing applications where flexible automation—such as machining, sealing, and material handling—is required. Spirit AeroSystems (www.spiritaero.com), focusing on composite and aluminum manufacturing, designs and builds aerostructures for commercial and defense customers. The company’s core products include fuselages, pylons, nacelles, and wing components for the world’s premier aircraft. Headquartered in Wichita, Kansas, Spirit operates sites in the U.S.,...

CNC Machine Shop Boosts Efficiency with Aid of…

CNC Machine Shop Boosts Efficiency with Aid of…

Jan 7, 2019

“CNC Machine Shop Boosts Efficiency with Aid of Collaborative Robot” Featured in Design-2-Part Magazine BOSTON—Fitzpatrick Manufacturing, a CNC machine shop and custom manufacturer founded in 1952, regularly brings new technology into its factory to increase speed, improve efficiency, and remain competitive. The company recently deployed Rethink Robotics’ Sawyer™ collaborative robot at its Sterling Heights, Michigan, facility to increase operational efficiency and to counterbalance a tight labor market. “We were very deliberate about finding the right job for Sawyer,” said Kevin LaComb, co-president at Fitzpatrick Manufacturing, in a press release. “This is the first time we’ve deployed advanced automation. In job shops, it’s hard to predict what project will come in. With Sawyer’s adaptability, we can automate the repetitive, mundane jobs and free up human workers for more skilled, higher value tasks.” Fitzpatrick Manufacturing supplies parts to more than a dozen sectors, including aerospace, automotive, medical equipment, and oil and gas. The company is using Sawyer to help hone parts that become components for the motion control industry–work that requires precise tolerance and repetitive action. Sawyer identifies which part to run first—short versus long—and loads it into the honing machine. When the first part is finished, Sawyer removes it, loads a second part into the machine, and places the first part in the wash station. From there, Sawyer dries the part at the air blow station before packaging it in a box for shipment. With 400 spots on the pin board to be processed, Sawyer can package between 280 and 300 before a human worker needs to intervene. This process could take five to eight hours, which allows Sawyer to run overnight, lights out, and have all the parts ready to go when workers arrive back at the facility. Sawyer is one of two collaborative robots manufactured by Rethink Robotics—the other is Baxter®—that are designed to work safely alongside people.  The cobots are powered by the Intera software platform and can be trained and on the job in a matter of hours, according to the manufacturer. The majority of Fitzpatrick’s employees have been around for years, and introducing Sawyer was initially met with uncertainty on the floor. However, once the team saw the cobot’s versatility, and...

Design-2-Part Shows Sets Annual Attendance Record

Design-2-Part Shows Sets Annual Attendance Record

Dec 6, 2018

PROSPECT, Conn. — (December 5, 2018) — Design-2-Part (D2P) Shows, a series of design and contract manufacturing trade shows across the U.S., has set a new annual attendance record for its trade shows in 2018. The eleven 2018 shows combined to deliver 14,935 engineers and buyers, the highest number in the 44-year history of D2P. “We are extremely pleased with the year our shows had in 2018,” said Jerry Schmidt, President of Design-2-Part Shows. “We invest a lot of time and money in attracting attendees to each show. But this year, we also acknowledge a resurgence in America’s manufacturing industry and the U.S. economy as a whole. The feedback that we receive from our exhibitors in post-show surveys showed that they also saw a higher level of active buyers than in recent years, resulting in some of our highest Customer Satisfaction marks ever.” D2P will look to continue this run in 2019 with eleven more shows scheduled in Grapevine, Texas; Atlanta, Georgia; Uncasville, Connecticut; Schaumburg, Illinois; Santa Clara, California; Minneapolis, Minnesota; Marlborough, Massachusetts; Pasadena, California; Oaks, Pennsylvania; Indianapolis, Indiana; and Charlotte, North Carolina. Design-2-Part Shows provides U.S. manufacturers an efficient opportunity to meet local and national job shops and contract manufacturers face-to-face to source custom parts, components, services, and design. Exhibiting companies showcase their design-through-manufacturing services, featuring more than 300 product categories for the metal, plastics, rubber, and electronics industries. D2P Shows exclusively feature exhibiting job shops and contract manufacturers with manufacturing operations in the United States. Companies that do not have facilities in the U.S. are not permitted to exhibit. For information on exhibiting or attending any Design-2-Part Show,...

Design-2-Part Magazine Wins Two Awards at Folio: Eddie &…

Design-2-Part Magazine Wins Two Awards at Folio: Eddie &…

Oct 18, 2018

“Design-2-Part Magazine Wins Two Awards at Folio: Eddie & Ozzie Awards Gala”   Two other articles were finalists and received Honorable Mentions NEW YORK – Design-2-Part magazine took home two first-place awards for editorial excellence at the recent Folio: Eddie & Ozzie Awards in New York City. The winning articles are Why Technology Might Change the Way You Manufacture Metal Parts (May 2018), which won in B2B Single Article or Series of Articles, Manufacturing; and Software Engineer Aims to Bring Custom Prosthetic Hands within Reach (November 2017), the winner in B2B Single Article, Supply Chain/Product Development. Two other articles were finalists and received Honorable Mentions. Those articles are On the Ground: Aerospace Manufacturers Driving Growth in High-Flying Industry (March 2018), in the Aerospace, Aviation, & Defense category and the Supply Chain/Product Development category; and Innovation 101 for Manufacturers: Harnessing the Power of New Business Models, Technologies, and Ecosystems to Bring Value to the Marketplace (September 2017), in the Manufacturing category. This is the second year in a row that D2P had two first-place winners in the competition. “We are extremely honored to be recognized for our work,” said Rob Eichner, senior vice president of Design-2-Part. “Our company was founded 41 years ago with a mission of promoting U.S. manufacturing. Our editorial team tries to carry that passion in every story we share on the achievements of American manufacturers.” Over 350 industry professionals gathered at the New York Hilton Midtown on October 9th to celebrate the Eddie & Ozzie Awards for excellence in magazine editorial and design. Brands from all across the publishing space submitted over 2,000 entries, competing to take home the gold across 200 categories. Design-2-Part magazine helps OEMs find solutions to tough manufacturing problems with cutting-edge information, making it easy for OEMs and product manufacturers to find the resources they need to build higher-quality products. The magazine provides in-depth reporting and analysis of significant developments, trends, and technologies that are shaping American manufacturing, impacting the roles of design and manufacturing engineers, and enabling them to develop and manufacture innovative, high-quality products more quickly and cost-effectively.  ...

Boeing HorizonX Invests in 3D Printing Startup Morf3D

Boeing HorizonX Invests in 3D Printing Startup Morf3D

Jul 5, 2018

Featured in Design-2-Part Magazine Investment furthers Boeing’s commitment to a competitive ecosystem for aerospace-quality 3D-printed parts CHICAGO—Boeing announced its investment in Morf3D, an El Segundo, Calif.-based company specializing in metal-based additive engineering and manufacturing. Morf3D’s technology enables lighter and stronger 3D-printed parts for aerospace applications, Boeing said in a press release. Since Morf3D was established in late 2015, the company has produced 3D-printed titanium and aluminum components for Boeing satellites and helicopters. With this investment, Morf3D will collaborate with Boeing to further develop manufacturing processes and engineering capabilities. “Developing standard additive manufacturing processes for aerospace components benefits both companies and empowers us to fully unleash the value of this transformative technology,” said Kim Smith, vice president and general manager of fabrication for Boeing Commercial Airplanes and Boeing Additive Manufacturing leader, in the release. Morf3D’s metallurgy experts are using a new set of additive manufacturing design rules to advance the technology and accelerate 3D-printing capabilities for commercial use. The company uses state-of-the-art software, combined with engineering expertise, to significantly reduce mass and increase the performance and functionality of manufactured parts. “We are excited to be a distinguished and trusted partner of Boeing’s additive manufacturing supplier base, as we continue to industrialize our processes for the high-rate production of flight-worthy additively manufactured components,” said Ivan Madera, CEO of Morf3D, in the release. “This investment will enable us to increase our engineering staff and expand our technology footprint of EOS M400-4 DMLS systems to better serve the growing demands of our aerospace customers.” “As innovative companies continue to revolutionize technologies and methods, we are proud to invest in the rapidly growing and competitive additive manufacturing landscape,” said Steve Nordlund, vice president of Boeing HorizonX, in the release. Boeing HorizonX Ventures co-led this Series A funding round. The Boeing HorizonX Ventures investment portfolio is made up of companies specializing in technologies for aerospace and manufacturing innovations, including autonomous systems, energy storage, advanced materials, augmented reality systems and software, machine learning, hybrid-electric and hypersonic propulsion, and Internet of Things connectivity. In March 2018, Boeing and Norsk Titanium received the Aviation Week Laureate Award for Commercial Supplier Innovation for qualifying the first additively manufactured structural titanium parts on a commercial airplane. In February 2018,...