Whitehall, MI —Sprayforming has gotten bigger than ever. With the launch of its new A3 production line, Sprayform Technology International has what may be the biggest sprayforming operation going.
The new line, which turned out its first articles during the summer, boasts a combined melt and vacuum chamber of 9,000 ft3, a 6,000-lb melt capacity, and up to a 65-inch spray diameter. That kind of workspace and spray capabilities translate into nickel-based super alloy aerospace components once suited only for forging, according to Greg Butzer, Sprayform's general manager. Up to now, Sprayform's largest unit topped out at a 32-inch spray diameter and 1,000-lb melt capacity.
One of the first parts to come off the new line was a low-pressure turbine case for Pratt & Whitney's PW4000 engine. At 58 inches in diameter, it required a single 4,000-lb melt.
Though the A3 will mostly serve the aerospace industry, it could also see some use in any applications needing large, near-net, ring-shaped components at a comparatively low cost.
Truchard will be presented the award at the 2014 Golden Mousetrap Awards ceremony during the co-located events Pacific Design & Manufacturing, MD&M West, WestPack, PLASTEC West, Electronics West, ATX West, and AeroCon.
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For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This discussion will examine what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.