High Performance Shaft Machining (SAM 2 P2)
The aim of this ATI-supported project was to develop methods and technologies to deliver step-change improvements in the manufacture of aero-engine shaft components, to achieve reduced cycle times and manual intervention, and improved Right First Time (RFT). Such improvements are necessary to enable Rolls-Royce to deliver the volume of shafts required to meet the growing global demand for the Trent XWB.
The collaboration with the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) generated novel cutting strategies, advanced fixturisation, optimised cutting tool configurations, in-cycle inspection, complex computer modelling and dynamic frequency monitoring to machine full-scale shaft components.
Traditionally, critical shafts are machined from forgings with low material utilisation rates of typically below 10%. This results in high material input weights and excessive manufacturing time to machine the forgings to final geometry. Working in collaboration with the Advanced Forming Research Centre (AFRC), the project also developed flow forming technology to produce near nett shape shafts, with the result that a significant proportion of the component will not require finish machining. The AFTRC installed a full-scale flow forming machine which was used to develop the process understanding to enable application to aerospace geometry and material combinations.Download the High Performance Shaft Machining (SAM 2 P2) case study