Aerospace (Design collaboration)
A major Aerospace customer was awarded a contract with the US Department of Defense to develop a product for the B-1 Bomber. Unlike many parts that Wire Products Company manufactures in the thousands or even millions per year, aerospace components are low volume, highly technical and tight tolerance parts.
The customer’s engineering team produced an initial drawing that was beyond the capability of any machine at Wire Products Company to manufacture complete off the machine. It would require manual secondary operations.
A meeting was held with both companies so that Wire Products Company could fully understand the engineering behind the part formation, where the part was going to fit into an assembly, and what was its intended function in that assembly.
A handmade prototype was built for the customer, and was presented at a follow-up meeting. A very complicated part, that Wire Products Company felt may have been over-engineered.
Although not design responsible, Wire Products Company will collaborate with their customers and make recommendations that may enhance manufacturability, while keeping form, fit and function in mind. Such was the case of this large part.
Once a full understanding of the part’s intended use, the Tooling, Equipment and Engineering teams went to work on possible design modifications that would allow the part to made more efficiently and enhance production repeatability.
The wire form contained multiple bends that were intended to be weld points as part of a locking mechanism in the assembly. The number of bends would lend itself to inconsistencies in a secondary formation operation.
Collaboratively an alternative design was developed by the customer and the Wire Products Company team, which eliminated several of the bends, yet maintained the part’s welding integrity. Samples were made, successfully trialed and a new blue print was finalized with the recommended revision. Not only saving cost but also enhanced production repeatability.