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A roll call of aerospace excellence

A roll call of aerospace excellence

Paris Air Show 2017, held this year from June 19-25, always provides a diverse selection of companies within the global aerospace industry. Aerospace Manufacturing takes a look at what some of the exhibitors will be offering at the event.

We begin our rundown of exhibitors with First Sensor Lewicki (hall 2a, stand C286) who will be presenting its custom specific electronics, modules and complete systems for aerospace applications. Utilising latest hybrid technology allows for very compact, rugged and highly reliable electronic assemblies. Excellent thermal conductivity and temperature resistance expands the lifetime of the systems, especially for high thermal requirements and changing temperatures. Custom specific systems from First Sensor Lewicki enable OEM device manufacturers to shorten their design cycle, save development costs and achieve competitive advantages as well as fast innovations to the market.

The manufacturer offers a broad range of technologies which include thick-film technology as well as all microelectronic packaging technologies from the processing of bare dice, mounting of active or passive electronic components up to the encapsulation and sealing in hermetic housings. The company has more than 45 years of application knowledge and technological expertise in space, defence, safety, medical, and industrial applications. From custom-specific development up to serial production all processes at First Sensor Lewicki are subject to a quality management system certified according to EN 9100 (aerospace standard) and EN ISO 13485 (medical device standard). In order to ensure highest levels of product reliability, the company performs design margin testing, screening, and qualification e.g. according to MIL and ESA standards. Hybrid integrated circuits and complete systems from First Sensor Lewicki are used in civilian and military aircraft as well as space applications.

In the next hall, Ascent Aerospace (hall 3, stand B39) will introduce its turnkey, automated fuselage assembly systems of tooling, machines, material handling and factory support equipment, as well as complete project integration services with professional programme management. A scale model of the innovative automated fastening system will be on display at the Airshow.

According to Michael Mahfet, CEO of Ascent Aerospace: “Being a single-source provider across the entire value chain of capital equipment for aerostructures – the tooling, automation, controls and integration – allows us to design and build a solution that maximises overall equipment effectiveness and line productivity.”

The innovative assembly system combines cutting-edge robotics with proven light, flexible machines, to carry out automated drilling and fastening operations that enhance the throughput and quality of the assembly as well as the safety and ergonomics of factory personnel. On the assembly line, sections of fuselage shell cycle through the automation on mobile tooling that significantly reduces crane moves. The stationary automation equipment, several of Ascent’s arc-frame machines, has complete circumferential access to drill and buck rivets around the fuselage sections. Three 7-axis robots will work in conjunction with arc-frame machines to achieve one-up assembly.

The fuselage assembly system is the next generation of Ascent’s modular, scalable automation solutions currently in production on spar drilling systems. Previous installations reduced cycle time by eliminating the step of removing the part from tool to complete drilling on a separate machine.

Ascent is at the forefront of a clear industry trend that is said to be blurring the lines between an automated system and a tool, to optimise system utilisation and increase performance and functionality. Tooling is becoming an integral part of the automated system as they are blended into a common work centre. The resulting mechatronic advanced manufacturing systems minimise the cost and risk of aerostructure manufacturing and assembly.

At Cyient’s (Chalet 33) showground location, the global provider of engineering, manufacturing, data analytics, network, and operations solutions will be promoting its expertise in product lifecycle for aero-engines, structures, avionics, electronics, systems, and interiors.

Cyient’s solutions span design to certification, manufacturing, aftermarket and digital transformation. Partnering with the industry’s prominent OEMs, it plays a major role in some of the most promising and innovative programmes in the sector.

At the show, Cyient will showcase various solutions for safety-critical avionics systems where it develops innovative and compliant solutions that cover the full product lifecycle of tomorrow’s aircraft. Equally, in the data-driven engineering and digital aftermarket, the company will be showcasing how it delivers integrated solutions in repair and reliability engineering and health management. It leverages these technologies to help OEMs and tier 1 suppliers achieve digital transformation and enable data-driven decisions for greater efficiency, agile operations and improved asset availability.

Alongside these avionics and aftermarket solutions, Cyient will highlight its design-led-manufacturing (DLM) capabilities. As part of the ‘Make in India’ initiative, the company is supporting global defence procurement programmes by enabling the offset of disbursals, localised engineering and production support under India’s Defence Procurement Policy of 2016.

Hybrid Air Vehicles (hall 2b, stand H178) will be featuring its game-changing Airlander 10 airship. Airlander is a revolutionary new type of hybrid aircraft with exceptional payload and endurance characteristics, multi-mission capability, ultra-low fuel consumption and low operating costs.

The aircraft blends a wing-shaped body with lighter-than-air and vectored thrust technologies. Airlander sustainably gains up to 40% of its lift aerodynamically and another 60% aerostatically, with an extra 25% vertical thrust available. The airship can operate from virtually any flat surface, including desert, ice and even water, and it can remain continuously airborne without refuelling for up to five days. This all combines with the ability to carry outsized and extensive payloads of up to 10 tonnes.

The aircraft can also be used for ultra-persistent surveillance, remote logistics operations and with unrivalled low-noise, low-vibration sightseeing and passenger transport uses. Airlander is said to be the only full-sized operational hybrid aircraft in the world and it is currently in the midst of its flight test programme in the UK.

During the Paris Airshow Hybrid Air Vehicles will be exhibiting at the UK’s ADS pavilion. The Airlander itself will be in the UK, continuing its flight test programme and milestones are continually being reached pushing the envelope of operations further on each flight. During the Airshow, Hybrid Air Vehicles team will be progressing discussions on trials and demonstrations with potential customers, which will commence later in 2017 and throughout 2018. These trials will investigate both passenger and cargo operations, as well as the Airlander operating as an ultra-long endurance platform for surveillance, research, communications and filming.

Specialising in the development of integrated solutions for composites, metallics and assembly projects, international aerostructures manufacturer, Sofitec (hall 1, stand F321) says it stands out for its service vocation, efficiency and multi-technological capacity, due to its internal customer-supplier and Lean-thinking management philosophy.

The company offers more and better value-added projects to the aerospace market, and faces the future convinced of the possibilities of improvement and competitiveness in the sector. It develops solutions for the comprehensive management of aerostructures, considering the assembly as an integrated manufacturing process in natural evolution towards the addition of more complex programs to the order book.

When it comes to manufacturing, the company produces composites, metallic and mixed detail parts, with effectiveness and flexibility. Its claims its in-house manufacturing can tackle any aeronautical element, regardless of its size and/or geometric complexity. It also provides complete re-engineering on these products, adding flexibility and efficiency to the processes.

Sofitec has a quick-response service around the world, and offers Aircraft on Ground (AOG) services for any technology, including prototype manufacturing services. Its wide technological diversity includes manufacturing and integral mobile equipment, both in composites and metallics.

Sofitec’s team will showcase its available capacity and the current investment plan to expand its technological capacity and facilities to 100,000m².

The facilities of the company, located in Seville, Spain have three separate dedicated working areas: composites, manufacturing of detail parts and sub-assemblies made of carbon, glass and aramid fibres; metallics, in permanent technology upgrade to ensure zero-defect products; and assembly activities including integration, aerostructures, systems equipment and subassemblies.

One of the most relevant development promoted at the airshow is going to be a new facility for surface treatments, which will improve these special processes for metallic parts, as well as incorporate new specific treatments.

Sofitec aims to broaden its horizons as an international key player in aerostructures manufacturing endorsed by expertise and technology. By 2022 the company plans to be above €50 million turnover and to have a work team with more than 500 aeronautical experts.

Moving on, machine tool builder Mitsui Seiki (hall 4, stand C139) sees the Paris Airshow as a significant opportunity to promote its technology to aerospace manufacturing professionals.

Robb Hudson, CEO of Mitsui Seiki USA, says: “The Paris Airshow is a significant event for Mitsui Seiki as it allows us to meet with multiple current and prospective OEM, tier 1 and 2 customers regarding various manufacturing programmes. At the same time, those customers are meeting at the show with their customers deciding the manufacturing strategies for the most current aircraft programmes in the aerospace industry, so it’s is a very interesting and important symposium.

“There are still many contracts to be awarded for the full production rates on the large aircraft programs and the several new programs about to kick off for both commercial and military. We at Mitsui Seiki continue to refine our manufacturing technology to meet the increasing demands these newest state-of-the-art programmes require from a machine tool perspective. We enjoy collaborating with our aerospace customers to achieve truly world class manufacturing processes.  The Paris Airshow allows us the opportunity to discuss what’s relevant today and also look at what challenges lay ahead for tomorrow.”

During the show, Asco (hall 2b, stand H65) will demonstrate how it has extensively invested in the past couple of years to offer a one stop solution to its customers, including research and innovation, design, certification, industrialisation, manufacturing, special processes and MRO services under the same roof. Further investments will be expected through 2017.

As a market leader in high-lift devices – the retractable surfaces of wings used to generate more lift during take-off and landing – Asco will celebrate the successful conclusion of an R&D project in collaboration with Airbus and the Clean Sky Joint Undertaking. On the commercial side, Asco will also share about new contracts with its long-term partners.

In the next hall, The State of Oklahoma (hall 3, stand D112) will once again be in full force featuring its aerospace expertise in MRO, UAS and general aviation and to explore for trade and investment opportunities.

A delegation of five aerospace companies, led by Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin and US Senator Jim Inhofe, will include Autoquip Corporation, Consolidated Turbine Specialists (CTS), Ferra Aerospace, Janeway Machine and WHI Global.

A business-friendly environment and aerospace focused workforce development and incentive programmes are attracting global aerospace companies such as Boeing, Mitsubishi, Asco Industries, Rolls-Royce Engines, Lufthansa Technic and Ferra Engineering to the state.

Programmes of note to be showcased at the Paris Airshow include: the announcement that Oklahoma’s Aerospace Engineering Tax credit has just been approved and extended to 2022. In this scheme, the state provides a $5,000 per year tax credit to engineers hired into the aerospace industry as well as giving the companies that hire them a 10% tax credit for hiring in-state graduates and a 5% tax credit for hiring from other states, plus 50% tax credit for reimbursement of tuition costs. Another development Oklahoma will be promoting is the fact that its CareerTech’s FAA-certified aviation maintenance technology programmes are delivering a steady pipeline of critical certificated graduates that aircraft MRO and modification companies can recruit from. Five technology centres, throughout the state, offer the required 1,900-plus hours of instruction students need to be eligible to sit for the FAA Airframe and Powerplant certification exams.

In the next hall, Peli Products (hall 4, stand C52) will present its extremely resistant protective cases and containers for aerospace and defence at the show. With more than 500 sizes and bespoke options, they are said to provide the highest protection to any piece or tool, from small electronic equipment or fragile devices to a complete Typhoon tail container. PeliHardigg cases are lightweight, watertight, heat- and impact-resistant and virtually indestructible.

Peli-Hardigg designs, develops, tests and manufactures reusable cases and containers for storage or expeditions, capable to withstand the most extreme conditions, and customisable according to the client’s needs. It led to Advanced Case Solutions: lightweight cases that are watertight, bulletproof and fire-resistant.

During the show, Peli will challenge all visitors to test a Peli Air case, claimed to be the lightest protective case on the market today, by dropping a case containing four eggs inside, from a height of 2m: anyone capable of breaking one of the eggs inside the Peli Air will get a prize.

Now available in colour models aimed at diverse industries ranging from aerospace, electronics, fire and rescue and safety to OEM, industrial and photography, the Peli Air cases have been engineered to maintain the same standard of durability, but reducing the weight of each case by up to 40%. The new Peli Air colour versions in yellow, orange and grey are available in five long-form types. With the busy traveller in mind, the 1535 Peli Air case features wheels to move about easily in the airports. Other models in colour are the medium-sized 1485, 1525 and 1555, and the large-sized 1605 cases.

Just down the same aisle, machine tool CNC specialist Okuma (hall 4, stand C18), represented in the UK by NCMT, invites manufacturers to discuss its latest aerospace machining solutions at this year’s Airshow.

Okuma is dedicated to manufacturing solutions for a wide range of aerospace parts. Visitors at Okuma’s stand are welcome to discuss their individual machining demands and Okuma’s solutions with the experts on site.

Additive manufacturing (AM) is becoming increasingly relevant to the aerospace industry for prototyping, small volumes or customisation. Okuma has increased its R&D efforts to extend the capabilities of its multitasking machines beyond turning and milling. Machine tools, such as the MU-6300V Laser EX and the Multus U3000 Laser EX, are designed to be the first actual ‘done-on-one’ machines, capable of milling, turning, grinding, 3D metal printing and heat treatment. On-machine hardening solves a major bottleneck in production since it is quicker and causes less distortion than conventional heat treatment. As a result, throughput is increased dramatically. Additional Laser EX models will soon extend the series.

Full 5-axis machining is another technology strongly driven by the aerospace industry, enabling manufacturers to machine parts in one or two operations, where it would usually take up to five. Aerospace manufacturers have the added requirement of high rigidity and high-torque spindle capabilities to process some of the tougher materials, such as titanium and Inconel. To maximise the potential of its 5-axis machines, Okuma has cooperated with CAM developer, Open Mind, one of the first CAM developers to look into employing special milling tools for 5-axis machining centres.

SLM Solutions Group (hall 2a, stand B291) will present its latest developments in additive manufacturing based on selective laser melting. The Lübeck-based company will present its wide range of products and services for metal-based additive manufacturing and customised solutions based on the SLM production process.

Development in additive SLM technology has come a long way since SLM Solutions first exhibited at the Airshow. The improved and modified machine technology underlines SLM Solutions’ expertise and pioneering role in selective laser melting technology.

SLM Solutions will present the new SLM 280 2.0 with 2 x 700W lasers. The machine creates quality metal components based on 3D CAD data. Measuring 280 x 280 x 365mm³, the machine has one of the largest build envelopes in its class and offers patented multi-beam technology. The powerful 700W lasers, which expose the build field during the build process via a 3D scan optic, further shorten build times.

Alongside this, the machine also offers simple and secure powder handling thanks to a closed powder circuit in an inert gas atmosphere. The use of a large powder tank with two bottles enables the execution of a complete production process at full height with 1.6-way overdosing. The size of the overflows has also been adjusted accordingly.

As an open system, the SLM 280 2.0 offers a range of ways to optimise production processes as required and develop materials with individually set process parameters. Furthermore, it is possible to transfer the set parameters directly to other machines in the SLM 125 and SLM 500 series. An extensive monitoring system developed specifically for the SLM process enables a high level of process control, resulting in high component quality.

SLM Solutions will also present the gooseneck bracket, a component produced in cooperation with leading Belgian aerospace firm, Asco. This structural component was designed as part of the EU’s AFLoNext project and acts as a hinge between the Krueger flap and the leading wing edge. The elegant shape is the result of strict spatial limitations and high interface loads. The conventionally made component is made of high-strength, corrosion-resistant steel, weighs 2,005g and has a buy-to-fly ratio of around 17:1.

The challenge for the SLM production process lay in improving the buy-to-fly ratio. To achieve this, the gooseneck bracket was redesigned for additive manufacturing with improved topology. This optimisation aimed to minimise weight while achieving the strength necessary to withstand the aerodynamic loads set out in the AFLoNext project. Two additional components were also integrated, resulting in a reduction of the overall assembly time. The improved weight of the new component is 1,416g (compared to 2,050g), a reduction of 31%. The buy-to-fly ratio is now around 1.5:1, with a machining time of approximately four and a half hours. This new version produced with SLM technology requires only a handful of interfaces to be processed. The gooseneck bracket was produced on an SLM 500 (Quad) and an SLM 280 (Twin) machine.

In the neighbouring hall, Sogeclair Aerospace (hall 2b, stand B80) will showcase its capabilities founded on innovation. The company says it continues to offer its customers world-class solutions in the airframe, systems, equipment and MRO sectors.

Whether customers are launching new aircraft or improving an existing product to better address market’s demands; whether they are looking for a new competitive advantage or striving to improve the bottom line, Sogeclair says it can offer some interesting, cost-effective ideas to meet those challenges.

This year Sogeclair, will present its latest innovations in terms of additive manufacturing solutions, thermoplastics applications for civil aircraft, digital solutions for manufacturing support and improvement and many other interesting solutions.

Moving onto the next hall, at the Choose Washington stand (hall 3, stand B81) US congressman Rick Larsen and state commerce director Brian Bonlender will co-lead the state’s largest ever delegation to the Paris Airshow.

Sixty-three participants representing aerospace clusters all over the state are featured in an 840ft2 exhibit and meeting area themed ‘Defining the Future of Aviation and Space’.

Washington is home to a global aerospace industry that employs over 136,000 people, produces about nine out of every 10 commercial aircraft made in North America, and adds over $70 billion in revenue annually to the state’s economy.

“After building more than a century of leadership in this industry, Washington state’s entrepreneurial culture continues shaping the future of flight and space exploration,” says commerce director, Bonlender. “A strong aerospace industry strengthens communities by creating the next generation of experts who will envision and hold the jobs of the future.”

The group doing business at the show in Le Bourget includes 18 companies from the state’s massive aerospace supply chain, plus leaders in local government, economic development, education and workforce training.

Companies that joined the 2015 Commerce trade delegation to the Airshow have so far logged over $125 million in revenue as a result of their participation. Companies with exhibits in the Choose Washington exhibition include: AIM Aerospace; Industrial Machine Tool; National Precision Bearings; factory automation specialists AIT/Nova-Tech Engineering; Orion Industries, a social enterprise that helps employ individuals with barriers such as learning disabilities in aerospace, and a Boeing Supplier of the Year; Pioneer Industries, an award-winning social enterprise working on sheetmetal fabrication and precision CNC machining for commercial aerospace parts; Renton Coil Spring; Sage Tech; Seacast; 3D inspection specialist Silicon Forest Electronics; and metals and plastics precision engineering firm Tool Gauge.

Washington will also promote its Centre of Excellence for Aerospace and Advanced Manufacturing which is leading efforts to provide guided career pathways in high-demand careers such as Mechatronics. The Washington Aerospace Training and Research Centre (WATR) will also be returning to the show.

Another aerospace cluster, the North West Aerospace Alliance (NWAA) will have a strong presence at the Airshow on its stand (hall 2b, stand F172). Some of its UK members exhibiting include: CGTech, the developer of Vericut CNC machine simulation, verification and optimisation software; Tecomet, a leader in the global market of precision forging and machining; Valuechain providers of technology to connect smart factories and smart supply chains.

Also on the NWAA stand will be the Hyde Group which possess design, tooling and manufacturing capabilities, including around the clock AOG services, assemblies, fabrication, welding, X-ray, drop hammer, machining up to 7-axis, heat and surface treatments and project management services; Magnesium Elektron which leads the world in the development, production and supply of magnesium alloy systems and products; Aerospace Lancashire; and Kyocera SGS, a leading carbide rotary cutting tool manufacturer.

In the same hall, Sigma Components (hall 2b, Stand G171) will showcase the latest products from its SigmaLite range of lightweight aerospace components, alongside traditionally-manufactured components for aero-engine and airframe applications.

The company, which has manufacturing facilities across the UK and low cost operations in China, will also mark the 10th anniversary of its Chinese operations at the show. As well as celebrating this important landmark, Sigma will update customers on increased capacity and expanded capabilities across its businesses, including the latest innovations from its R&D programmes.

Mark Johnson, founder and CEO of Sigma Components, comments: “Our vision is to support customers by combining the agility, speed and cost structures of a local source with access to a truly global capability, while innovating to keep them at the forefront of their market. It’s an approach that is proving popular with both aerospace OEMs and tier 1 customers around the world.”

Sigma’s flagship SigmaLite range includes ground-breaking COMPipe technology – a braided composite pipe for aero-engines and airframes that offers up to 50% weight savings over traditional components; redesigned end fittings using additive manufacturing techniques; and composite drive shaft technologies.

The Plymouth Tube Company and Plymouth Engineered Shapes (hall 3, stand E157) will be displaying aerospace product offerings from its titanium extrusion mill and stainless steel tube mills.

Plymouth Engineered Shapes is a key producer of net and near net titanium extrusions to aerospace OEMs and their subcontractors. The US company manufactures cost-saving extrusions in titanium, stainless steels and nickel alloys. It claims no other manufacturer offers as much experience in special shape technology, or provides as many value-added options to meet product specifications. Plymouth Engineered Shapes has the ability to extrude complex shapes over length in a single operation which equates to less downstream machining and finishing operations for customers.

The Plymouth Tube Company division has a long history of its aircraft tubing being used in pioneering flights, from Charles Lindbergh’s Spirit of St. Louis record breaking aircraft to more recent space exploration. Plymouth manufactures a full-range of stainless steel and nickel alloy precision aerospace tubing to seamless and welded and drawn tubing specifications. In addition, the Trent plant of Plymouth Tube is the only 21-6-9 approved supplier on Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner programme.

In the next hall, CAM manufacturer Open Mind (hall 4, stand G77) will demonstrate innovative CAM technologies that allow companies to make their manufacturing processes more efficient and reduce machining times by up to 90%.

With its hyperMILL CAM system, the manufacturing software developer offers intelligent solutions to meet the challenges arising in the aerospace industry. The hyperMILL MAXX machining performance package, in particular, provides users with modules for highly efficient roughing, finishing and drilling operations that can offer fast economic benefits when working under increasing time and cost pressure.

HyperMILL MAXX roughing strategies make it possible to achieve far higher material removal rates per unit of time. At the same time, there is much less stress on tools and machines. High-performance machining features optimal milling paths, maximum material removal rates and the shortest possible machining times. The strategy for extremely rapid material removal is also available for materials that are difficult to cut (for example, titanium) and can be used for 2D, 3D and 5-axis milling tasks.

When it comes to finishing operations, Open Mind has developed a special method for the highly efficient finishing of steep and flat surfaces: 5-axis tangent plane machining with conical barrel cutters. As these conical barrel cutters feature particularly large radii, they enable milling with wide path distances with the same theoretical scallop height. The result is high-quality surfaces with extremely short machining times and increased tool life. In practice, this method of machining can result in time savings of 90% or more.

Open Mind’s drilling module includes the 5-axis helical drilling power strategy that can easily and efficiently machine holes. This cycle involves helical tilt milling whereby only one tool is needed for different drill diameters. Pre-drilling is not necessary and the strategy is very well suited for materials that are hard to chip.

HyperMILL also features numerous automation options that enable extremely efficient and easy machining of complex workpieces. Packages are available for impeller, blisk and turbine blade machining.

Also in hall 4, Schmolz + Bickenbach (hall 4, stand C38) will promote its high-quality stainless and engineering steels in diameters from 5mm to 400mm as well as supply chains that are efficient around the globe.

Its subsidiaries Deutsche Edelstahlwerke and Ugitech will also feature on the stand. The companies have a wide range of OEM and subcontractor approvals and they recently achieved, in a common project, the qualification by another international tier 1 supplier approvals for several steel grades.

In a move to bolster competitiveness, the steel group intends on investing around €17 million in a new furnace installation and associated logistic facility to be Nadcap certified at Ugitech by 2019. This will be the third Schmolz + Bickenbach production site with Nadcap approved furnaces. This measure shall further strengthen the position of Deutsche Edelstahlwerke and Ugitech as qualified material producers for the aerospace industry.

At the Airshow, the affiliates will focus on their consolidated special steel expertise by supplying raw material into the production of safety-relevant components, such as drag links and undercarriage components. Customers include stockholders and distributors, metalworking companies, part, component and system suppliers as well as OEMs.

Renishaw (hall 2b, stand G188) will unveil its additive manufacturing technology for the first time at this edition of the Airshow. The company is showcasing its flagship RenAM 500M metal additive manufacturing system and providing demonstrations of its build preparation software, QuantAM.

Visitors to the stand will be introduced to the technology Renishaw is contributing to Land Rover BAR, the British Challenger for the 35th America’s Cup sailing competition. Renishaw is an official supplier to Land Rover BAR and member of the Technical Innovation Group whose goal is to find advanced technologies and develop them to provide the team with a competitive edge, by creating a cup winning race boat. Renishaw has provided its expertise in metal additive manufacturing and encoder technology and produced parts for the Land Rover BAR racing catamaran. Renishaw will feature the bespoke parts in a dedicated display area.

The RenAM 500M utilises laser powder bed fusion technology. This system is designed and engineered by Renishaw to be used for serialised production of complex metal components, and offers increased automation and reduced operator touch time. QuantAM 2017 is the latest version of Renishaw’s build file preparation software for its AM systems. The software allows the user to edit the build file so that the designer can optimise the machine settings and process parameters to suit the material and geometry of the part being processed.

“The aerospace industry was an early adopter of additive manufacturing and is rapidly taking advantage of its benefits,” explains Clive Martell, head of global additive manufacturing at Renishaw. “As part of the Renishaw commitment to industrialising AM we have developed intuitive software and systems and we are supporting the adoption of AM via our global network of solutions centres, where customers can evaluate Renishaw technology and the benefits of AM in a safe environment, at predictable costs, before investing in equipment.”

Renishaw is the only manufacturer of metal additive manufacturing systems that will feature at the UK Pavilion.

Software specialist, CGTech (hall 2b, stand F172, booth 1) will showcase its expanded range machining applications in Paris. Its Vericut machine tool simulation application is used to improve the efficiency of all types of CNC machine tools.

Vericut is CNC machine simulation, verification and optimisation software that enables users to eliminate the process of manually proving-out NC programs. It simulates all types of CNC machining, including multi-axis milling, drilling and trimming of composite parts, water jet cutting, robotic machining and mill/turn centres. The program runs standalone, but can also be integrated with leading CAM systems used in aerospace including Dassault Systemes CATIA, Siemens PLM NX, Autodesk PowerMill and Open Mind HyperMill. Vericut can also be used for composites material applications. Vericut Composite Programming (VCP) and Vericut Composite Simulation (VCS).

CGTech will feature projects that highlight the use of off-line NC programming and simulation software for Automated Fibre Placement (AFP) machines and Automated Tape Laying (ATL) machines including robot cells. Vericut Composites Applications are machine independent and machines from the world’s leading composites machinery suppliers, including Electroimpact and MTorres.

Vericut Drilling and Fastening (VDAF) is software for simulating and programming auto-drilling and fastening machines. These machines are used to assemble large aerostructures and it is essential to avoid programming errors and collisions at such a late stage in the aircraft manufacturing process. Vericut allows the user to program drilling and fastener assembly operations in a virtual machine tool environment and provides simulation to check for a variety of potentially disastrous error conditions. Like all Vericut software VDAF interfaces to leading CAD/CAM/PLM systems such as Dassault Systemes CATIA and Siemens NX, and is independent of the assembly machine manufacturer.

Also part of the UK cohort is South West Aerospace (hall 2b, stand G170), which will once again be presenting the UK region’s aerospace capabilities. Representing 15 top aerospace companies and 800 supply chain businesses, the South West sector is said to be the most capable and diverse in the UK. The sector supports 98,000 jobs with a sales value of £7bn.

The region also offers specialist expertise across 11 core areas, including: wing design; engines; landing gear; metrology; avionics and rotor; plus, leading technologies such as: composites; robotics; autonomous systems; UAS; and additive layer manufacturing. This results in world class innovation and collaboration across many areas of the aerospace industry. Together with leading talent and extensive supply chains, the UK South West says it really is Europe’s aerospace powerhouse.

Proof of the strength and vibrancy of this cluster is the West of England Aerospace Forum (WEAF). A membership organisation for the South West aerospace and defence industry, WEAF is a national and international champion for industry interests. The team has close links with the Ministry of Defence as well as DTI, the UK’s national inward investment agency. WEAF organises training and networking events, co-ordinates supply chain initiatives and uses digital tools to help promote companies in this sector.

Latest developments include: £70m investment into the Airbus Aerospace Park including their Wing Integration Centre and University of Bristol’s ongoing recognition as an academic centre for Excellence in Cyber Security Research.

The South West Aerospace stand team will be holding a showcase event on: Wednesday 21st June from 10.30am – 11.30am. Alternatively a 1-2-1 meeting with its specialists can be arranged.

Tecnatom will have its own stand (hall 1, stand F322) at the Spanish Pavilion, organised by the Spanish Association of Defence, Aeronautics, Security and Space Technology Companies (TEDAE) in collaboration with the Spanish Institute for Foreign Trade (ICEX).

Tecnatom is one of the most established Spanish companies in terms of the number of editions of the Airshow it has attended; nine editions including this one. The company has successfully positioned itself in the field of advanced inspection engineering systems, providing its technology to the world leading manufacturers and suppliers. Tecnatom joined the aerospace market in the 90s, developing several automatic NDT systems currently delivered all along the world, automatic and semi-automatic C-Scan systems, consultancy and technical support.

These activities, plus Tecnatom’s investment in the development of in-house technology, has positioned the Spanish company at the leading edge of technology for the aerospace market, thanks to the manufacturing of a family of Robotic NDT Inspection Systems (Taurus and Taurus Twin, Pegasus), inspection cells integrated in the manufacturing process to ensure quality.

The Tecnatom Group counts on specialisation in the development and delivery of NDT systems: UT and ET hardware and software for Data Acquisition and Evaluation, semiautomatic and portable equipment (WiiPA). It also provides technical support during lifecycle of components through technical consultancy, development of specifications and procedures and the realisation of inspection services in its own facilities or at customer sites.

One of its latest developments is tecnaLUS, the new robotic system developed jointly by Tecnatom and Airbus, Europe’s first laser ultrasonic system to inspect aerospace parts during the production process. This system offers an addition novelty with respect to the other robot-operated systems developed by Tecnatom: the robot involved transports the part to be inspected instead of leaving it in a fixed position and moves the ultrasonic generation mechanism. This concept is perfectly exportable to conventional ultrasonics. tecnaLUS is said to increase productivity, save costs and, therefore, improve competitiveness of manufacturing processes in the aerospace industry worldwide.

Visitors will also meet some of the Tecnatom automated inspection solutions, such as its new semi-automatic 3D portable arm, which bases the applicability of 3D commercial measuring arms on manual inspections by ultrasonics, Eddy Current, Visual or other non-destructive testing. This system provides the flexibility of manual inspection and allows recording of coordinates on pieces of complex geometry, without the need to use more sophisticated and more expensive robotic systems.

Tecnatom also includes its GEOID software in its product portfolio, which solves the problems of identification and control of the positioning of the parts for inspection, avoiding possible damages. The group will also be celebrating its 60th anniversary at this year’s show.

Also in the same hall, carbon fibre processing specialist, MTorres (hall 1, stand G318) will showcase its lamination equipment for composite materials.

Recently, MTorres has launched new developments that offer a very attractive combination of highly productive and flexible technology with a low global investment, including external items such as foundation costs, footprint reduction and others. That includes, robotic applications in lamination (AFP-ATL) and also riveting systems for carbon fibre structures. Additionally, MTorres continues developing innovative automated assembly systems focused on reducing current costs. On top of that, the company will present a new automated manufacturing process without using moulds for composite monocoque fuselages, described as a totally new disruptive technology of manufacturing.

Finally, Smiths Interconnect (hall 2B, stand C31) who recently announced the transition of its technology brands, EMC Technology, Hypertac, IDI, Lorch, Millitech, RF Labs, Sabritec, TECOM and TRAK under a single brand identity – will exhibit its largest range of components, assemblies and systems during the Airshow.

The attendance is an opportunity to showcase a comprehensive portfolio of innovative connectivity solutions, providing customers with a single point of supply across multiple markets.

Previously, the Paris Airshows were attended by the Connectors business unit of Smiths Interconnect (Hypertac, IDI and Sabritec brands) with a focus on connector solutions. This year, in addition, to the greatly enhanced connector product offering, customers will be able to explore a vast portfolio of rugged cable assemblies, integrated microwave and millimetre-wave components, assemblies and systems, high performance ferrites, RF devices, as well as time and frequency systems.

Furthermore, high performance ground and airborne antenna systems for SATCOM with the KuStream ranges will be prominently displayed. Radio link, radar, telemetry, and high bandwidth connectivity are also available for applications within the commercial aviation market.

www.siae.fr

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