The manufacturing of aerospace parts presents several important challenges, including time and cost of production. In todays changing the economical context of today `doing well the first time 'is imperative to maintain the competitiveness of companies in the sector. The search for efficiency is today fueled by various opportunities from emerging technologies such as 3D metrology and additive manufacturing (AF), which offer a multitude of opportunities possibilities with significant potential. As an example, the AF allows the creation of complex geometry parts and multiple functions that are not feasible by traditional methods. That said, although these new technologies make it possible to envisage a revolution in the manufacturing process of aerospace parts, they are not applicable in all circumstances. Indeed, the criterion of profitability remains essential to the implementation of any new technology. As a result, several studies are underway to consider hybrid processes that combine the so-called conventional technologies with the new ones in order to obtain competitive solutions that respect the quality criteria and the standards imposed by the clients. More specifically, this project will focus on the design and manufacture of the tools used for the production manufacture of aeronautical components (e.g. positioning template for machining, drilling template, etc.).
Considering that any activity other than that the one leading to the creation of production parts does not represent a real added value to the overall process, . Iit can be seen that the design and manufacture of manufacturing production tools can be regarded as a 'badly needed'. Nevertheless, this activity has a significant importance on the challenges mentioned. As an indication, it is very common for tools to represent several tens of thousands of dollars and generate delays of the order of 60 days and more depending on the case. The purpose of the proposed project is to consider this activity differently. In other words, how can the design and manufacture of tooling be adapted to take advantage of the technological potential offered by the FA, 3D metrology and new manufacturing processes in general? Although the introduction of these new options offers concrete alternatives of manufacturing improvement, it is also necessary to consider the constraints and challenges associated with this assumption. To name just a few, the size of the parts that can be produced, as well as the homogeneity, cost and environmental sensitivity of the materials used in the FA, the modularity of the tools, the determination of dimensional requirements, Identification of the capabilities of a numerically controlled machine-tool-tool assembly, etc.
As a premise of the project presented in this proposal, the team identified categories of tools with significant potential for improvement in order to secure a realistic potential for the creation of competitive advantages through the creation of design strategies, bBased on hybrid technologies. These strategies will then be applicable in order to extend their impact on the overall practices of the manufacturing companies involved. After an exhaustive inventory of the state of the art, the approach chosen is to value and combine the new manufacturing technologies within the tried and true strategies by rethinking the creative approach and, in an ideal world, to replace certain technologies tTools or certain internal practices. This vision makes it possible to envisage that the strategies generated are applicable and profitable under the conditions of the market. In addition, we argue that the use of existing technologies and materials (high TRL) will significantly reduce the time required for the industrialization phase. The innovation targeted by this project is based on several interesting advances made in the last decade in terms of materials and the diversity of families of available technologies. Our team has a solid experience in the aerospace parts manufacturing environment as it integrates all the typical players in the supply chain.
The project we propose will enable us to implement several innovative strategies in a highly industrialized demonstration (preliminary) form. Implementing a synergy in the supply chain involved through the implementation of a joint design-manufacturing process as well as a better understanding of the financial factors will only increase the success rate of the Group in commercial proposals to the prime contractors. The harmonization of best industrial practices with the advances proposed by the technologies (FA, CNN, 3D metrology) offers the group the opportunity to develop reflexes of tailored adaptations to the various technical problems presented, which translates into a pragmatic enhancement of Local technical competitiveness. Finally, the "Industry-Academy" matching in this representative industry environment will enhance the quality of the learning and publications produced by the researchers, students and trainees involved.