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Vought Aerospace buys $10-million FMS.

Vought Aerospace buys $10-million FMS

Cincinnati Milacron, Cincinnati, OH, has confirmed the sale of a major flexible manufacturing system (FMS) to the Vought Aerospace subsidiary of the LTV Corp, Dallas, TX.

As was originally announced to its trade press by Vought, the new, highly automated system--expected to triple productivity over conventional manufacturing methods--is the first step by the company toward completion of a larger, computerized, futuristic production facility.

Called a flexible manufacturing system by Milacron--and a flexible machining cell by Vought--the new production unit combines extensive computer control of system elements, including eight Milacron 20 HC machining centers, part queue on two 10-station Milacron CNC workpiece carousels, and automated part handling by means of remotely controlled wire-guided carts. Ancilliary operations include automated part measurement, part washing, and chip accumulation and disposal.

Cost of the Vought system is $10,000,000 under terms of a contract, with Milacron to supply the machinery and perform necessary installation. The system is expected to be in full operation by July 1984.

Initial system production assignment will be a selection of machined parts for the Air Force B-1 aircraft, for which Vought is a major subcontractor to Rockwell International.

Vought is producing the aft and aft-intermediate fuselage sections of the next-generation bomber. The two sections contain about 2000 machined parts, of which some 600 are candidates for the capabilities of the system.

Although the system-produced parts will represent only about 10 percent of Vought's B-1 work, company officials project a savings of $25 million through use of the automated system.

Production of the parts expected to work through the FMS would require about 2000,000 hr of conventional machining. The FMS will do the job in about 70,000 hr. The new complex will occupy a relatively small 125-ft 250-ft area.

Each of the eight Milacron CNC machining centers has automatic random-tool interchange and a 90-tool magazine. Machine control is by Milacron's own Acramatic CNC, interfaced with the overall computer control of the entire system. Two Milacron 10-station workpiece carousels permit parts queuing and scheduling.

Four small wire-guided carts, each capable of carrying 5000 lb, will shuttle part-laden pallets, tools, and other equipment throughout the system on computer commands, following a network of wire embedded just below the shop floor.

A relatively unique feature of the Vought system is a central chip-collection system that separates ferrous and nonferrous materials for reclamation.

For information on Cincinnati Milacron flexible manufacturing systems, circle E9.
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Title Annotation:flexible manufacturing system
Publication:Tooling & Production
Date:Jan 1, 1984
Words:406
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