HIGHLY EFFICIENT MACHINING OF CFRP COMPONENTS

A new FOOKE 5-axis portal milling machine with a tailored dust extraction unit designed by Keller Lufttechnik has been operating successfully at the Munich site of the company GKN Aerospace.

The state-of-the-art, highly productive tool machine is 14 metres long and used to manufacture carbon fibre reinforced plastic (CFRP) aircraft landing flaps.

FOOKE MEETS ALL GKN REQUIREMENTS

The high quality of the CFRP components is the company's flagship, which is why GKN had precise demands in terms of precision and speed of the new milling machine. The overall package included a full enclosure and a high-performance dust extraction system from Keller Lufttechnik. "The concept was exactly what we had in mind and took all our specifications into account," reports Hans-Jochen Platte, division foreman for machining at GKN.

RELIABLE, FAST AND PRECISE: 5-AXIS GANTRY MILLING MACHINE FROM FOOKE

The milling machine plays a key role in the production of the landing flaps, the expert continues: "We rely on very high accuracy and on both the machine and the extraction system to run continuously without malfunctions." Therefore, reliability played a greater role than price when deciding on the system. FOOKE milling machines are driven by linear motors that are extremely dynamic, highly accurate and reliable. This combination of high speed and precision means a productivity gain for the customer.

RELIABLE EXTRACTION IS ESSENTIAL

Milling CFRP produces fine fibers that are respirable and carcinogenic. These should be prevented from escaping from the machining area. In Keller Lufttechnik from Kirchheim unter Teck near Stuttgart, FOOKE found a partner company with whose help this requirement could also be met. Based on a flow simulation, experts from both companies jointly developed an extraction technology tailored to GKN's needs. The warm process air is filtered in two stages and then used to heat the hall. According to calculations by Keller Lufttechnik, this means savings of around 20,000 euros a year for GKN in heating costs.

 "THE SYSTEM OPERATES PERFECTLY"

GKN has had the plant in operation since March 2015 and is completely satisfied: "Everything is running smoothly," says Hans-Jochen Platte. Even the execution was fun, he says: "Fooke and Keller Lufttechnik have excellently qualified specialists who develop very good solutions and implement them punctually and accurately. I rarely experience anything like that."