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DEVELOPING SERIAL PRODUCTION THROUGH THE CREATION OF A TECHNOLOGICAL COMPETENCE CENTER

Site news 18.02.2011
On the photo: NPO Saturn chief executive officer Ilya Fedorov (in the middle to the right) congratulates Sergey Musinskiy, head of the shop, on the commissioning of a new production shop dedicated to manufacturing parts for the low-pressure turbine of the SaM146 engine.

On February, 18th 2011 a new dedicated production shop was put into operation at NPO Saturn in the frame of developing serial production of the SaM146 engine. The shop will encompass machining operations on the blades and nozzle guide vanes of the SaM146 engine low-pressure turbine.

The production is organized on the end-to-end cycle approach; laying out the operating process using the Lean manufacturing principles will allow to ensure a more accurate and effective production. The new production shop is given its special role in the process of building a Saturn-based technological competence center specifically dedicated to manufacturing of blades under the name: “Turbine blades”.
 
The new shop 34 specializing in manufacturing parts of the SaM146 engine low-pressure turbine is located right next to the Russian-French (NPO Saturn and Snecma) joint company VolgAero in the facility which has been reengineered from ground zero to the most state-of-the-art technology. The overall shop area amounts to 7,3 thousand square meters. 
 
The operating process within the shop is designed taking into account the requirements of the effective production program; the entire machining of parts is performed along the end-to-end technologic cycle. The shop layout has undergone a dedicated processability check in specialized research organizations. The location of the machine tools with relation to types of machining operations in accordance with the routed technological processes cuts down intershop and intrashop product flows while ensuring the shortest passing of parts and sub-assemblies through all stages of the production cycle and enhancing the overall equipment efficiency ratio. While the new production shop was still under internal and external refurbishment, its managers underwent the “Introduction to Lean manufacturing” training course. 
 
 The overall shopfloor area is divided into four production sectors: machining of blades, machining of nozzle guide vanes, special processes and machining of shafts.
The main sectors dedicated to blades and nozzle guide vanes will perform machining of parts using 5-axis polishing machine tools for deep profile grinding and electro-discharge machining equipment. 
All the best practices accumulated in the field of deep profile grinding were used in the creation of the production line dedicated to the production of blades and nozzle guide vanes in shop 34. In order to expand the production capacity of the blades machining line in shop 34 even further, the company plans to buy SXC-512 5-axis profile-grinding machine tools equipped with a tool changer and an additional controlled axis in the diamond roller redressing mechanism. The EDM machine tools available in shop 34 today allow to perform high-efficiency machining of various parts made of hard-to-machine materials while ensuring high precision as well as best surface roughness and transformed layer characteristics.
In order to complete the full cycle of machining of blades and nozzle guide vanes, a sector of special processes has been set up and equipped with newly purchased machine tools. These are the installation of laser powder cladding of contact surfaces of parts, vacuum furnaces for brazing honeycomb abradable liners and heat treatment of parts, shot-peening installation, FPI robotized line, X-ray installation and a dedicated etching area.
The technology of laser powder cladding of contact surfaces of blades and nozzle guide vanes is new to our company. The quality of alloy application and consequently the quality of the part will be enhanced thanks to using this technology; process performance will be increased while the time required for the final assembly of the part will be decreased.
 The only operation which will not be performed within shop 34 is gas-circulation Cobalt and Chromium aluminizing. This special process will still be performed at shop 4; in order to expand production capacity of the coating application area, the company plans to retrofit the existing shop building.
Shaft machining area will incorporate all the equipment needed for performing special processes on the turbine and fan shafts. These are the plasma spraying installation, sand blasting installation, grinding equipment, equipment for painting, balancing and special inspections done on these parts.
 
Shop 34 integrates all technologies which allow to ensure a high-quality and high-efficiency production of parts for serial production of the SaM146 engine in the volume of 150 engines a year. The equipment installation and commissioning schedule stipulates relocation of the equipment existing in other divisions of the company as well as the supply of brand new machining centers. As of the date of its inauguration, the shop is capable and equipped accordingly to secure the SaM146 engine production program in 2011 under which 33 engines are to be delivered to the customer. The special process equipment available at this point, i.e. sand blasting, cladding, brazing - meets and well exceeds the volume of serial production for 2011 and is capable of producing up to 150 engines a year. The company will continue receiving new machining and assembly equipment until the end of 2011 and in 2012. Any machine tool purchased by NPO Saturn meets the state-of-the-art requirements to machining of a 21st century jet engine; the company invests heavily in purchasing new equipment, its industrialization and training of highly-qualified personnel to run it.
 
 Launching a Saturn-based dedicated blades production using the best-in-the-world equipment and latest achievements of fundamental and applied sciences, increase of the company’s production capabilities are the main prerequisites for creating technological competence centers in the field of “Compressor blades” and “Turbine blades”. The creation of technological competence centers commenced at NPO Saturn is aimed at meeting the company’s own needs, the needs of the companies in the ODK group and the needs of the entire Russian aviation industry.



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