Modern Machine Shop

SEP 2018

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Safe CNC Programming for Bold Machining Modern Machine Shop 95 A Low-Risk Process Shift The connection with Vincennes University also helped Flying S make the shift from vertical milling to a more efficient process on an auto- mated lathe with multitasking features. For some shops, such a transition can be problem- atic because missteps during the move prove costly and disruptive. With technical assis- tance from the university, Flying S made this passage smoothly. It started with a recent project involving the manufacture of a family of 20 different light- weight aircraft fittings. Made of aluminum, these small, clip-like parts are inserted into the carbon- fiber wings to hold them together and adhere to the fuselage. The company originally made the parts on a vertical mill after sawing blanks from barstock. Each part required three setups and many operator interventions to machine all sides. Flying S reached out to Mr. Bowman at the school to discuss possible solutions to the problem. It was quickly concluded that they could run the parts on a lathe with live tooling and an attached bar Kyle Haas runs a vertical machining center to trim cured carbon fiber parts. A software plug-in that enables a multi-axis trimming program to be created quickly was the key to moving away from time-consuming, less accurate manual trimming. CNC mill and lathe programming, then setup and operations, with the goal of gaining imme- diate employment in a shop. "They really need to get on the job and get some experience first before they can really excel with programming software. Once on the job, they get comfort- able doing a wide variety of setups and part machining. Then, they can return to VU for incumbent training classes, and go back and apply their new skills immediately by program- ming their own parts," Mr. Bowman says. This synergy between technical schoolwork and on-the-job training has been especially vibrant at Flying S, Mr. Shaw obser ves. For example, almost all programmers and machinists on the Flying S shop f loor are graduates of either the Right Skills Now – CNC Machining or the Precision Machining Technology program. Peter Bowman at Flying S knows that they are well-prepared to jump in and begin work. This takes out much of the risk of hiring these graduates for the shop's blend of programmer and machinist positions.

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