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Extending FMS lights-out capacity - Fastems Auto-Loading Cell at EMO 2023

How to design flexible and profitable CNC automation systems?

Fastems and MTU Aero Engines

📅 Date:

🔖 Topics: Manufacturing Execution System

🏭 Vertical: Aerospace

🏢 Organizations: Fastems, MTU Aero Engines, Airbus


As far as possible, system integrators should be experts in the disciplines of both hardware and software. Particularly the “soft” side of automation has become immensely more important, not least because of Industry 4.0. The magnitude of this is demonstrated by a challenging project of MTU Aero Engines AG. The aircraft engine manufacturer was looking for a partner to implement a highly automated blisk production system and opted for Fastems, whose many years of experience in software development enabled it to provide the necessary intelligence for the solution that was envisaged.

According the production manager, the loading and unloading alone means that the Monforts cannot run as autonomously as the milling centers with workpieces requiring long machining times of between 20 and 40 hours. “However, automation with the gantry loader gives us a decisive increase in efficiency. Despite very short processing times of between 20 minutes and two hours, we were able to increase the throughput of these machines by a factor of 4 to 5,” says Walter Sürth, emphasizing the manufacturing quality in connection with the demand for high productivity: “From a technological point of view, the production of blisks is the best that can be expected from a machine tool in terms of precision and therefore repeatability. However, if the workpieces aren’t set up accurately, not even the highest-precision machines are of any use.” This is why the main MLS has three Fastems high-precision set-up stations where the devices can be fitted on zero-point clamping systems for both mill-turning and milling centers. “The accuracy of the set-up stations is comparable to the machine tools. This means potential errors are avoided and cannot even enter production,” says Sürth.

The Manufacturing Management Software (MMS) from Fastems, which is specially adapted to the extremely stringent and specific requirements of blisk production, serves as a nervous system for the overall automation solution. The control system plans the entire production for 96 hours in advance and must constantly be able to manage up to 1,500 jobs. Put another way, this can be around 150,000 manufacturing operations. If the deadline is moved, the MMS reschedules the entire production in real time, again for four days in advance.

Read more at Fastems Case Studies