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Technology in Action So far, standardized tooling has contributed to reducing


overall job lead times by making machine changeovers easier and faster and allowing for higher machining speeds and feeds to shorten part-cycle times. Te tooling also makes it possible for Gentz Aero to standardize and simplify certain machining operations so that the shop’s less-experienced machinists can handle them, thus freeing up its more seasoned machinists for the more complex work. For almost all of its tooling needs, Gentz Aero has been


working closely with its key supplier Seco Tools for about 15 years. But it was only recently that the shop approached Seco for help with tooling standardization, as well as carbide insert optimization, and with the idea of having an in-house Seco technical representative on site a few days per week. “Today, most cutting tool suppliers can provide the latest


in cutter technology,” said Roger Bartolomei, program director at Gentz Aero. “However, the more important issue is actually getting a specialist to come in and work with you on a particu- lar tool to ensure you use it to its full potential, and that’s what I believe differentiates Seco from its competitors.”


Complex Parts and Assemblies For Seco, working with Gentz Aero in standardizing its


tooling came with significant challenges, one of which was the sheer complexity of the shop’s parts/assemblies. Gentz Aero is a Tier One supplier to all three of the jet engine OEM primes. It is well known in the industry for its aerospace/ aircraſt fabrications used mostly in the hot sections of jet engines. Te company is among the few suppliers with the necessary expertise to join sheetmetal components with those made from forgings and/or castings to form single assemblies that are then finish machined to tolerances held within ± 0.001" (0.025 mm). “Tese are highly complex hardware assemblies,” Bartolo-


mei pointed out. “Tey involve multiple tiers of build and lots of details and subassemblies. With every manufacturing operation, we have to deal with different shrink factors or part warping because of the materials used.” One job that epitomizes the complexity of the assemblies


Gentz Aero produces is a prop turbine case. Tis assembly essentially encompasses all of the shop’s processes from EB welding to milling to EDM hole making and deburring. It’s made from 718 Inconel and is typically between Rc


provided a complete solution. Seco looked at every operation and targeted the longest ones first and, in this case, it was the milling operations. Te company also recommended several places where multiple operations could be combined and standard tooling applied. As a result, Gentz Aero was able to reduce and combine two seven-hour milling operations into a single seven-hour operation, which contributed immensely to reducing the assembly’s overall turnaround time.


The Goal of Standardized Tooling According to Bartolomei, the goal of standardized tooling


at Gentz Aero is more about reducing the amount of different tooling as opposed to reducing overall tooling inventories. At one time, he said, the shop used more than 650 different types of inserts, keeping a significant amount of each in stock at all times. Now, thanks mostly to standardizing, Gentz Aero keeps only about a third of that amount in inventory.


40 and 45


in hardness. But what really makes the part a challenge, besides all the


processes involved, are its individual components. Each is ex- tremely complicated and intricate and once they are welded to one another, completing them as a final assembly takes about 10 days. Tis is fast when considering the assembly previously took over a month to produce. Tis is one of the jobs where Gentz Aero worked with Seco to evaluate the whole manufacturing process, and Seco


76 Aerospace & Defense Manufacturing 2013


With TS2000 grade inserts, Gentz has increased the speeds and feeds for turning containment housings made from 718 Inconel.


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