With a capacity of 3,400, by 3,400 by 2,000 mm in X, Y and Z, respectively, and able to handle parts weighing up to 16 tonnes, the 5-axis machine was delivered in June. But even before that, Dynamatic already has sufficient work to fill the machine for work where tolerances of 50-60 microns will be required. That accuracy capability is stated as being easily within the machine’s grasp, however, and Dynamatic-Oldland Aerospace, located in Bristol, sees opportunity to broaden the scope of its Swindon operation to take in the machining of engine and landing gear parts, where tolerances are 15-20 microns, again said to be “easily achievable”.

The size of the machine and the number of pallets were important considerations. The large bed size enables it to machine larger parts, while the four pallets allow for unmanned running – the arrangement gives more flexibility and the ability to choose the order in which parts are run to support such unmanned machining. If the company had chosen a single- or dual-pallet machine, two to four hour set-up times would have resulted in significant idle time and much less flexibility.

Parts can be set while the machine is running, with complete parts produced in one cycle, cutting one side of the component in one fixture and the other side in a second.

Dynamatic-Oldland Aerospace is part of the Bangalore-headquartered Dynamatic Technologies group that has companies specialising in the hydraulics, automotive and aerospace industry sectors. Aerospace-focused Dynamatic-Oldland Aerospace has four manufacturing plants; Bristol and Swindon in the UK, and Bangalore and Nashik in India.

SERVICING AEROSPACE PRIMES

Dynamatic-Oldland Aerospace supplies aero structures and assemblies for the fuselage and wings directly to aerospace primes, including Airbus, Boeing, Bell Helicopter and Hindustan Aeronautics. It is also an ‘Airbus Centre of Excellence’ for flap track beams and is the only company in India to be a single-source supplier. The company produces two variants of these parts, one for the A320, manufacturing around 50 sets per month, and the other for the A330 at eight sets per month.

James Tucker, managing director of Dynamatic-Oldland Aerospace, Bristol, and a director of Dynamatic Ltd, Swindon, said ahead of the installation: “The versatility of this machine in the manufacture of complex parts in aluminium alloy, steel and titanium alloy fits well into our existing machine pool. The machine will help us to serve our existing and new customers and deliver larger and much more challenging parts.”

PRECISION AND HIGH SPEED

Ajay Gururaj, project manager at Dynamatic-Oldland Aerospace in the UK, adds: “We have a very good relationship with DMG Mori. The quality of the German manufactured machines is exceptional and the combination of precision and high speed they deliver is a capability which is difficult to find. Reliability is good with hardly any downtime, whilst both service and spares are delivered very efficiently. Local support is available in the UK and in Bangalore, where we can have access to telephone support or, if necessary, an engineer can be on-site in two hours. Because of the cost of the DMC 340 U RS4, the support we get will be a key factor, as we will need to keep the machine running.”

Continues Gururaj: “We get involved in projects at an early stage, with a 9-18 month cycle of industrialising and optimising for cost-effective manufacture. During this phase, we develop special tools and strategies and identify machines, for delivery in 9-12 months, necessary to solve complex problems. Because of the scale of our operation, we are able to plan well ahead as we are dedicated to longer term contracts from a minimum of five years to the life of the product. We have a strategy for investing in capital equipment and manufacturing in the UK, as the cost of money is low and we are close to our market here.”

Steve Finn, managing director of DMG Mori UK, says: “The quality of our machines and the after-sales service we can offer are clearly crucial to the high value manufacturing ethos of Dynamatic-Oldland Aerospace. Investing in the DMC 340 U RS4 will give the company a very significant advantage in its marketplace, enabling it to offer a unique service to its customers. We are delighted that it has chosen to work closely with us, both in the UK and India, and we look forward to continuing and expanding our collaboration.”

This article was first published in the August 2016 issue of Machinery magazine.