Modern Machine Shop

DEC 2017

Modern Machine Shop is focused on all aspects of metalworking technology - Providing the new product technologies; process solutions; supplier listings; business management; networking; and event information that companies need to be competitive.

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Page 73 of 140 December 2017 MMS 71 FEATURE O n a winding, forested road in small-town southern Maine, a machining operation born in a garage produces parts for some of America's most advanced defense systems. Not just any parts, but those that could put lives at stake if they fail. The shop has earned the same level of t r u s t fo r c o m m e rc i a l a e ro s p a c e wo r k , w i t h flight-safety-critical pieces for companies like Boeing and General Electric running alongside propulsion system components for the Nav y's nuclear submarines. President of Arundel Machine Tool Marcel Bertrand started out helping his father, Raymond, run the company's first manual equipment as a 16-year-old in 1984. Named for their hometown near Por tland, the company has moved and ex panded multiple time s since the n, and its current 40,000-square-foot facilit y is ripe for another addition. In fact, plans are already in the works for an additional 20,000 square feet, largely to house more turn-mills and five-a xis machining centers. Discussing a histor y of ser ving industries Machining in a Measured Future Today's most exclusive work serves as a proving ground for the coming era of more stringent specifications, less paper and more comprehensive quality control in general. BY M AT T DA N FO R D Arundel Machine Tool's new Zeiss Contura CMM leverages an articulating probe holder and the Vast XXT sensor to collect dimensional data on this housing for an actuation module. This technology is essential for keeping up with the scanning routines required for the shop's most sensitive work. ranging from medical to semiconductors, Mr. Bertrand speaks like a man who knows he has helped build something special. The work reflects the shop, as far as he and the rest of the leader- ship are concerned, and being trusted with these parts puts Arundel in rare company, whether the catastrophic cost of failure is in human, financial, environmental or other terms. "If a 'Christmas tree' valve assembly on an oil well in the ocean has a burr in the wrong place, or dimension that's out, that could cause a leak and cost millions every day," says Patrick Shrader, vice president of sales, about the gravity of this work. Mr. Bertrand and Mr. Shrader also speak like they've been here before. Each step toward more sensitive, demanding work has been character- ized by accelerated adoption of new technology and techniques. That's exactly what's happened throughout the current transition with the five-axis and turn-mill machines. If histor y continues to repeat, advanced machining work in general will increasingly look more like the most exclusive work of today, and the advantages of these tech- nologies and techniques will compound. Also in keeping with past experience, the chal- lenge of the new work has been as much about verifying the process and the results as about the machining itself. This time, however, the transition has been particularly extreme. If there's data to be had, customers want to see it. If analysis reveals

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