Making productivity and safety improvements to an established process.
A leading international manufacturer of high-precision alloy gas turbine components, which are designed to operate in the most demanding of conditions, approached ATA looking to improve their manufacturing processes. The manufacturers process involved the removal of machining burs on inner holes and rails and difficult to reach locations of high pressure heat shield Nickel-based Super Alloy components.
The customer wanted to address two main issues – increase bur life against the burs currently being used, and to reduce the vibration levels being experienced by the operators. The customer asked ATA to provide a bur geometry solution to meet this criteria in their blade & vane shop.
With experience in providing grinding solutions to suit a wide spectrum of materials, ATA was able to consult with the managerial and production operatives at the site and gain an understanding of the applications requirements and benchmark the current product.
With the evaluation completed the Alloy Specific (AS) range was proposed for testing. Through demonstrations, the effectiveness of the new Alloy specific bur range was evident. Rigorous testing was then left to the operators to conduct and report to the managerial team their findings.
Following extensive testing in the blade and vane dressing area, it was recognised that improvements and benefits had been achieved in the process by the introduction of the Alloy Specific bur geometry from ATA.
“Both from a Health & Safety and also a production basis this seems to be a complete no brainer! I strongly endorse your findings and any future trials in the other areas purely on the basis of a better vibration performance, regardless of other benefits”
Environment & Health and Safety Manager
The longevity of the AS burs was achieved in two ways, firstly by providing a smoother grinding operation, when compared to the current bur, and improved edge retention which increases bur life. The results of trials showed:
- A typical batch of 30 components, normally using five of the previous burs to remove the material, now compared to only two Alloy Specific burs required to complete the 30 components
- The AS Burs returned less vibration to the operator, a major KPI for their Health and Safety Manager, the reduction was measured on-site at 1.8 ms2 on the AS bur, compared to 2.3 ms2 on the current bur