Monday, 2 February 2015
The grand opening of the center took place December 9 and 10, 2014 during Okuma America Corporation’s annual open house. The Aerospace Center of Excellence is open to aerospace manufacturers for use as a testing and proving ground for advanced CNC machining technology to enhance productivity while solving the unique challenges faced by the industry. The nearly 10,000 square foot space currently houses nine CNC machines designed for the aerospace market. The space also includes a fully-operational metrology room including CMM equipment and other quality measurement devices, and a conference room. Additionally, visitors have access to the Partners in THINC* facility, which currently houses an additional 16 machines, ranging from entry-level CNC lathes to machining centres and grinders.
*Partners-in-THINC is a business network of 50 companies of the US metalworking industry
In addition to Okuma equipment and dedicated engineering personnel, facility activities will incorporate resources from members of Partners in THINC, enabling access to an additional 50 suppliers of peripheral equipment and accessories. Tooling, work holding, gauging, software and other products necessary to optimize manufacturing processes will be easily available, as will the corresponding engineering experts.
“We envision that the facility will be used by various levels of aerospace suppliers, from Tier 3 to OEMs, to help them test new equipment, processes and materials. We’ve been working with our Partners to improve exotic metal cutting through the use of tool management software, cutting tool selection and other productivity enhancements, and now we want to help the actual manufacturers with these same challenges”, notes Jim Kosmala, Vice President of Technology.
Jim King, President and COO states, “While the Aerospace Center of Excellence is physically located in Charlotte, we are using our worldwide resources to support this effort. Okuma has a global team made up of people from Okuma Japan, Europe and America, who are working closely to identify new processes and technologies specifically to help this industry address their challenges. It’s an existing and ongoing mission and the centre establishes a centralized point of collaborative expertise for delivering innovation and productivity enhancements to aerospace manufacturers.”
The Okuma aerospace initiative has already resulted in a collaboration with The Boeing Company on the new ISO STEP-NC standard, originally presented at the recent International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS) 2014. Additional technologies will be on display at the Paris Air Show in June, 2015 where Okuma Europe and America will be jointly exhibiting.
Okuma Europe GmbH is the Germany-based sales and service affiliate of Okuma Corporation, a world leader in CNC (computer numeric control) machine tools, founded in 1898 in Nagoya, Japan. The company is the industry’s only single-source provider, with the CNC machine, drive, motors, encoders, spindle and CNC control all manufactured by Okuma. Okuma’s innovative and reliable technology, paired with comprehensive, localised service protection, allows users to run continuously with confidence – maximising profitability. Along with its industry-leading distribution network, Okuma facilitates quality, productivity and efficiency, empowering the customer and enabling competitive advantage in today’s demanding manufacturing environment.
MAQcenter, official distributor of Okuma in Spain and Portugal for over 20 years, is the technology partner who needs the aerospace company; innovation and professional experience serving the needs of the aerospace industry.