An engineering company has made the best use of digital innovations to get the best out of a major new aerospace contract. Staff at the 70-strong T&R Precision, in Foulridge, Colne, secured a deal to provide intricate parts for the Safran LEAP engine, used on the Airbus A320Neo and Boeing 737 Max aircrafts.
Engineers knew it could take around a week, using four or five different devices, to complete a batch of 12 parts, as the material is hard to cut and machine and the challenge was to manufacture the parts, made out of a hard metal called Inconel, as efficiently as possible.
Working with Made Smarter, the company has been able to devise a production process, to enable staff to reduce the build time down from around 90 to 12 hours. Managing director Tim Maddison said: “When I sat down and told the team that we needed to find a way of doing it all within one machining cell it raised a few eyebrows. But when we broke down the problem, we realised that the technology existed, all that was missing was the application.”
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Using technologies like automation, data analytics, systems integration and cloud-based solutions, the team came up with the answer. Real-time electronic reporting now allows every order to be tracked through the supply chain. The first integrated machine will be in place by the end of the year and a second is envisaged to deal with an increase in orders. Mr Maddison hopes the reorganisation will keep T&R, which is predicting revenue growth of over 33% over the next three years, ahead of its competitors.
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