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Hickham Industries Commissions Airfoil, Blade Plant. (Newsreel).

Hickham Industries recently said it had begun full-scale operation of its Blade & Airfoil Manufacturing services facility in LaPorte, TX, just east of Houston. The new 16,000 square foot manufacturing center houses state-of-the-art tooling, designed specifically for manufacturing turbine and axial compressor airfoils.

Hickham said recognizing the need for quality turbine blades and components in the power and petrochemical industries, it had designed and constructed one of the most advanced manufacturing centers in the country. The company said the speed and precision of the facility enables Hickham to provide a cost competitive, fast, and available supply of steam turbine and axial compressor airfoils. Equipment at the facility includes Starrag/Heckert[R] 4- and 5-axis horizontal mills with spindle speeds to 15,000 RPM; Starrag[R] 4 spindle copy mill; Mitsubishi[R] wire EDM machine; Brown & Sharpe[R] CMM; Walter[R] 5-axis CNC tool and cutter grinder; various CNC tool grinders, peening, and polishing machines; and multiple 3-axis CNC milling machines.

Complete turbine blade engineering services are available. Failure analysis and evaluation includes fracture mechanics, stress and fatigue testing, short-term loading, frequency testing, and finite element modeling. All design and engineering is provided in-house, including high speed measuring for reverse engineering and inspection. Final blade and airfoil tests and inspections include CMM for dimensional conformance, NDT examination for yield and fracture, and final visual inspection. Joe Burkhart has been assigned management responsibilities for the blade production center. Lead engineer is Dan Kramer, with programming and engineering assistance from David Whitmore, Shane Edwards, and Jason Munn. More than 20 machine operators and related personnel complete the Blade Manufacturing team.
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Publication:Pipeline & Gas Journal
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Oct 1, 2002
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