Composites plant

Spirit AeroSystems has opened a composite manufacturing facility at its site in Prestwick.

The facility leverages advanced composite technology from Spirit’s research and development portfolio, and brings new work to the site in the form of the Airbus A320 family spoiler. The Rt Hon Nicola Sturgeon MSP, First Minister of Scotland, officially opened the new facility.
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New investment for WAAM3D Ltd

WAAM3D Ltd, a spin-out company from Cranfield University, has received major investment from Accuron Technologies, an international engineering and technology group headquartered in Singapore.

WAAM3D is commercialising wire arc additive manufacturing (WAAM) technology developed at Cranfield University by a team led by Professor Stewart Williams, and will be rolling it out into the aerospace, energy and other industries. WAAM can be used to produce large metal components with low cost and short production lead times.
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Skiving machine with sharpener

Vertical power-skiving machines from Gleason intended for the production of soft and hardened gears up to 600 mm in diameter can now be equipped with an on-board cutter re-sharpening unit to reduce cutter changes and help ensure consistent quality.

As a result of automating cutter re-sharpening operations, Gleason power-skiving machines require minimum operator involvement, reducing the time typically required for frequent tool changes and subsequent first-part inspection cycles. Additionally, the usual cost for external tool refurbishment can be avoided.
Compared with the typical cutter re-sharpening process, the on-board unit is fast and simple. The machine’s axes position the cutter to the grinding wheel, before the re-sharpening unit executes the necessary grinding strokes, with the cutter performing the infeed and indexing from tooth to tooth. All of this is undertaken automatically and based on the cutter geometry that exists after a certain number of gears have been cut. After the initial corrections are made based on the first gear cut, a consistent gear quality is more easily maintained throughout the complete life of the tool. The frequency of re-sharpening cycles can be selected depending on the gear quality required.
Tool cost-per-piece is also lower compared with external reconditioning, with no tool changes, first-part-inspections and machine adjustments during a cutter’s lifetime, as well as no handling and logistics costs for reconditioning cycles. With a lot less cutters in circulation, tool investment is reduced significantly.
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Dyson wins ventilator order

Dyson has secured an order from the Government to manufacture 10,000 ventilators as the UK steps up its fight against COVID-19.

In a statement to staff seen by Reuters, James Dyson said that since receiving a call from Boris Johnson, the company had refocused resources, working with Cambridge-based TTP (The Technology Partnership), to design an entirely new ventilator, the CoVent (photo: Dyson). The race is now on to get it into production.
“We have received an initial order of 10,000 units from the Government, which we will supply on an open-book basis. This is clearly a time of grave international crisis, I will therefore donate 5000 units to the international effort, 1000 of which will go to the UK.” He added that Dyson and TTP will be working with the MHRA and the Government to ensure that the product and manufacturing process is approved.
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Calling all apprentices

The education and skills charity, WorldSkills UK, is looking for talented apprentice engineers to prove they are the country’s best.

Putting apprentice and student skills, knowledge and employability attributes to the test in a competitive environment, 90% of those who entered in 2019 said they had seen improvements in their career prospects. The WorldSkills UK competitions are designed by industry experts and are free to enter. Each successful entrant that makes it through the national qualifiers, taking place between April and June 2020, will represent the UK’s engineering industry in the national finals in November.
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