Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Technical Review
    Vol. 53 No. 4 (2016)   New Products & Technologies
    New Products

    Automatic Production System for Machining Aircraft Parts

    Mitsubishi Heavy Industries
    Machine Tool Co., Ltd.

    The aircraft parts processing industry is expected to continue to grow significantly in the future due to the expanding field of small jet planes represented by the Mitsubishi Regional Jet (MRJ), in addition to the plans of Boeing and Airbus to increase the production of jet planes. Most aircraft parts are characteristically hard-to-process workpieces because some of them have complex shapes consisting of free curved surfaces and others have complexities in terms of the shape such as the great length and large deformations because of the small thickness. In addition, many aircraft parts are made of difficult-to-process materials such as titanium that generate a large amount of heat during processing, or CFRP (carbon fiber composite material), which tends to generate burrs or chips. With the background where the production of aircraft has been increasing globally, improvement in production efficiency is required. Therefore, there has been increasing demand for production systems that combine manpower-saving and automation functions such as specialized functions for the target workpieces, automatic workpiece exchanging functions that enable continuous long-time processing, and automatic measuring functions using various sensors. Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Machine Tool Co., Ltd. has delivered many production systems and machine tools to the aircraft parts processing industry, utilizing our background where group companies manufacture aircraft parts and our expertise and response capabilities cultivated in the development of automatic processing lines for the automotive parts processing industry. This paper presents examples of our machine tools and automatic production systems exclusively for aircraft parts processing.