Machining aerospace components

Posted on 16 Sep 2017 and read 877 times
Machining aerospace componentsEssex-based Smith’s (Harlow) Ltd — founded over 60 years ago by former wartime Spitfire pilot Gerald Smith — makes a wide range of commercial-aircraft components for customers such as Rolls-Royce, Bombardier and Safran (

Focusing on aero-engine parts from 200mm to 3,000mm in diameter, plus prismatic parts of 1,000mm3 and above, the company can work with hard or exotic metals such as Inconel 718, Waspaloy, Nickel Alloy c263 and Haynes 188 (it also machines softer metals such as aluminium and magnesium).

Its workshop equipment includes a six-pallet Burkhardt & Weber machining centre that cuts most of the titanium parts, plus a recently installed Dugard DBM 2150, along with machines supplied by Cincinnati, Kitamura, Toshiba, Mandelli, Deckel Maho, Kia, Mazak and Boehringer.

All the programs for these machines are developed in Edgecam (

Engineering manager Tim Hambridge says that Edgecam’s Part Modeler function is used for design, getting the correct stock sizes, laying out any tooling lugs in the material, fixture design, clamps and fixture drawing.

“Then we move on to the part programming in Edgecam, using Waveform roughing on both milling and turning.”

A recent upgrade to the 2017 version of Javelin production control software — also from the Vero stable — has enabled Smith’s to become more ‘data-centric’, with full real-time information feedback.

This will help the company to grow, either by acquisition or organically.

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