As the manufacture of carbon brake disks for aircraft requires specific skills, each of the 200-plus employees at Safran Landing Systems in Villeurbanne, France, play one of three complementary roles. Some weave carbon fibres, while others perform the heat treatment necessary for the conglomeration of the fibres into strong, compact stock with final forms that will be machined by the company’s third group of employees.
Increasing orders in the global aerospace industry motivated Safran to consider ways to become more efficient and responsive, with emphasis on the need for the company to improve its manufacturing methods to make a more reliable product.
MHAC Technologies, Safran’s partner in machine programming and a local distributor of Esprit CAM software, suggested the company implement Esprit, a full-spectrum CAM system for CNC programming, optimisation and simulation. With MHAC’s help, Safran installed Esprit’s SolidMillTurn Production Plus software, which can handle C-axis index and rotary milling, Y-axis index milling, B-axis index milling and 3rd rotary axis index milling. The system includes SolidMillTurn Traditional and Advanced, and SolidTturn Multispindle, a two-axis turning add-on to support multiple spindles.
When programming Safran’s CNC lathes and three- to five-axis milling centres, Esprit software enables a quick set up due to automatic macros that define the machining origins, offsets and machining assemblies. Patrick Gaydoux, an experienced programming technician at Safran, praises “the cloud-enabled KnowledgeBase integrated in Esprit, which automates and optimises the choice of optimal machining strategies based on a company’s accumulated best machining practices”.
Macros developed by the machine manufacturer and managed by Esprit software can automate and optimise operations according to the type of machining to be done and the stock measured directly on the machine. MHAC Technologies develops made-to-measure post processors for the specific machines in Safran’s workshop.
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