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    Default New to machining aerospace

    Hi guys,

    The shop that I work at is currently a job shop and they want to start getting into aerospace cutting aluminum, Titanium, and stainless steel. I have not done any machining in the aerospace field so what kind of things should I expect when programming and machining. I know there is a broad spectrum on this and we don't have very large machines so it'll be small parts for now. I am just curious on what others say and if they have any tips for me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Amanor View Post
    Hi guys,

    The shop that I work at is currently a job shop and they want to start getting into aerospace cutting aluminum, Titanium, and stainless steel. I have not done any machining in the aerospace field so what kind of things should I expect when programming and machining. I know there is a broad spectrum on this and we don't have very large machines so it'll be small parts for now. I am just curious on what others say and if they have any tips for me.
    Expect everything to be a royal PITA. If that sounds ok to you (and the bosses) expect to need to work on ISO and/or AS quality systems. Some places will let you do work for them before you get certified, IF you can prove you are working on it IME. You will need at least a QC inspector, if not a QC department.

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    The biggest difference is in the office. Certifications, and the ability to track everything. As for the guy running the Machinery--just depends on what you're used to. If you're used to repairing farm equipment, it's going to be different. If you're used to doing Tool and Die work, not very difficult in comparison.

    R

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    If you have to ask... You're not ready

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    Quote Originally Posted by as9100d View Post
    If you have to ask... You're not ready
    STFU!!

    It's just making parts. I would suggest if you haven't had training on reading or interpreting good Blue Prints---look into that. Either online or take a class. It'll get you ahead of the curve a little.

    R

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    It's not just making parts


    You don't make aerospace parts without finishing and assembly, part marking with specific inks. Using specific paints mixed and certain humidity, temp, and pot life times.

    Keeping track of every traceability information from start to finish. Material, inserts, clips, adhesives, paints, sealants, lots goes on and on and on...


    Keeping calibrated tools, things are now zero defect culture so 100% of parts have to pass a full inspection.

    Just making parts? Naw......there is a reason why a small single part costs $1400 plus shipping ...

    Sent from my Pixel 3 using Tapatalk

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    Quote Originally Posted by litlerob1 View Post
    STFU!!

    It's just making asinine toleranced parts. I would suggest if you haven't had training on reading or interpreting good Blue Prints---look into that. Either online or take a class. It'll get you ahead of the curve a little.

    R
    Fixed it for you.

    Seriously probably depends on what level / tier you are making them for. Are you going to need FAIR's on these parts? Do you have a cmm / microview / comparator / molding compounds? Do you have access to the million different specs that dictate how you read / interpret prints (goodrich, boeing, etc)?

    I agree with Rob on principle - it is "making parts" but the inspection and documentation is the killer IMO. I know how to program and setup and run lots of different kinds of parts, but after I've done my initial inspection and it goes to "quality" and they come back saying something is out of print according to their shitty cmm techniques it can be a nightmare to get "good" parts out the door.

    Also expect to invest in alot of special tooling (unless you are already well stocked). When an aerospace print says .005-.010" radius, it means .005-.010, not .004, not .012.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike1974 View Post
    Fixed it for you.

    Seriously probably depends on what level / tier you are making them for. Are you going to need FAIR's on these parts? Do you have a cmm / microview / comparator / molding compounds? Do you have access to the million different specs that dictate how you read / interpret prints (goodrich, boeing, etc)?

    I agree with Rob on principle - it is "making parts" but the inspection and documentation is the killer IMO. I know how to program and setup and run lots of different kinds of parts, but after I've done my initial inspection and it goes to "quality" and they come back saying something is out of print according to their shitty cmm techniques it can be a nightmare to get "good" parts out the door.

    Also expect to invest in alot of special tooling (unless you are already well stocked). When an aerospace print says .005-.010" radius, it means .005-.010, not .004, not .012.
    Agreed....

    If you have to ask... You're not ready.

    Sent from my Pixel 3 using Tapatalk

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    [. When an aerospace print says .005-.010" radius, it means .005-.010, not .004, not .012.[/QUOTE]

    What Mike said 100% to print or the scrap can.Unlike standard operating procedure working tool and die or such you cant plate a little here weld there or plug that out of tolerance hole.

    And the material better be correct and certified and also along with all the PIA's there is that possibility of prison.

    But dont be afraid of it ,just know what is involved and you'll be fine.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike1974 View Post

    Also expect to invest in alot of special tooling (unless you are already well stocked). When an aerospace print says .005-.010" radius, it means .005-.010, not .004, not .012.
    On the tooling note, expect to pay a lot more for tooling as when you start cutting hard metals such as Titanium, you can't cheap out. If you do, you won't even get through a part before you break a tool, or alternatively it will take far too long. That said, quality tooling applied correctly will last multiple parts (a few hours life) and will be very productive. Don't be afraid to spend 30-100% more on tooling, it had the potential to pay dividends. Testing and due-diligence are key here. Form good relationships with your tooling reps, and lean on them for help getting the most from your tooling and machines.

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    Quote Originally Posted by as9100d View Post
    It's not just making parts


    You don't make aerospace parts without finishing and assembly, part marking with specific inks. Using specific paints mixed and certain humidity, temp, and pot life times.

    Keeping track of every traceability information from start to finish. Material, inserts, clips, adhesives, paints, sealants, lots goes on and on and on...


    Keeping calibrated tools, things are now zero defect culture so 100% of parts have to pass a full inspection.

    Just making parts? Naw......there is a reason why a small single part costs $1400 plus shipping ...

    Sent from my Pixel 3 using Tapatalk
    Along with the outside vendors doing plating/painting/hardware install (unless you plan on doing that all yourself, no idea how big OP shop is..) get a bad paint or hardware install, you are making the parts again. They might cover a re-do of plating or whatnot on their dime, but unlikely they are going to cover the cost you have invested in those parts - material, labor, machine time, etc.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cmccull166 View Post
    [. When an aerospace print says .005-.010" radius, it means .005-.010, not .004, not .012.

    What Mike said 100% to print or the scrap can.Unlike standard operating procedure working tool and die or such you cant plate a little here weld there or plug that out of tolerance hole.

    And the material better be correct and certified and also along with all the PIA's there is that possibility of prison.

    But dont be afraid of it ,just know what is involved and you'll be fine.
    That's not proper Tool and Die work, that's what we call blacksmithing.

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    From my experience when it comes to parts with asinine tolerances medical is much worse than aerospace. Aerospace is big on documentation, medical parts have hand grips with a +/-.001 tolerance on the radii where your fingers go and +/-.001 tolerance on the counterbore diameter around an allen head cap screw.

    P.S. Just get ready for lots of paperwork. There will be lots of time added to jobs over and above the norm.

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    Quote Originally Posted by as9100d View Post
    It's not just making parts


    You don't make aerospace parts without finishing and assembly, part marking with specific inks. Using specific paints mixed and certain humidity, temp, and pot life times.

    Keeping track of every traceability information from start to finish. Material, inserts, clips, adhesives, paints, sealants, lots goes on and on and on...


    Keeping calibrated tools, things are now zero defect culture so 100% of parts have to pass a full inspection.

    Just making parts? Naw......there is a reason why a small single part costs $1400 plus shipping ...

    Sent from my Pixel 3 using Tapatalk
    I don't know if you only read what applies to you or what, but you didn't start this Thread, so maybe none of it does.

    If you read what I posted, I stated a difference between the Machine Operator and the Office personnel. If my Machinist is painting....that's a problem. If my Machinist is doing install on anything but Tools, that's a problem. If QC sucks ball sac bad enough to pass a Machined part, that's middle tolerance, onto Plating where it gets a .0005" build, because it's type III Hard Anodized, that's a problem. The Machinist doesn't have anything to do with it. That's the Office and unfortunately the Lead/Foreman type. It's QC, it's the production manager, the Owner, the Secretary literally anyone except the Machinist. The tolerances are asinine, but Medical IS worse. I have done both for decades.

    R

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    Thanks for the input guys. I have had experience with all this stuff before since I have worked on medical parts and tool and die work. Just the next step is what I was curious about is all and I appreciate the input from everyone. I may not be ready just to jump into it but at least I know what to expect when my company decides to start running these parts.

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    I stopped reading when you said they are just parts.


    And a tolerance of +/- 0.005 isn't really a pain. Just hard to hit consistently with old ass machines.



    Sent from my Pixel 3 using Tapatalk

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    Pat yourself on the back for being a big bad Aero guy. Sooner than later you'll wish you owned a hot dog cart.

    My personal issue is my very thorough and under paid QC manager wants Machined parts that are to print AND allow for build. So .001" just became .0001"

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    Quote Originally Posted by litlerob1 View Post
    Pat yourself on the back for being a big bad Aero guy. Sooner than later you'll wish you owned a hot dog cart.

    My personal issue is my very thorough and under paid QC manager wants Machined parts that are to print AND allow for build. So .001" just became .0001"
    I do own a hotdog cart.

    When you make a comment like

    "STFU!! New to machining aerospace

    It's just making parts."

    And I reply with why it's not just making parts and you take it some way...it doesn't really make a whole lot of sense.

    Sent from my Pixel 3 using Tapatalk

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    Quote Originally Posted by as9100d View Post
    I do own a hotdog cart.

    When you make a comment like

    "STFU!! New to machining aerospace

    It's just making parts."
    Which part of being an Aerospace Machinist is not "just making parts?

    Sent from my computer using a keyboard. It's a Dell BTW, you can get one on sale at Best buy.

    R

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    Quote Originally Posted by litlerob1 View Post
    Which part of being an Aerospace Machinist is not "just making parts?

    Sent from my computer using a keyboard. It's a Dell BTW, you can get one on sale at Best buy.

    R
    Speaking from experience, I've hired plenty of folks that are "machinists" that can't do the paperwork correctly, pull material from the scrap bin to replace a part they ruined it using non traceable materials.

    Or not using the correct radius tools on 50 parts.... Thinking it's ok since it's close

    Not being careful to have straight and on size holes or large at top and I'm size at the bottom... Normal non aerospace parts might can get away with that.

    Welding or brazing parts that the traveler doesn't specify that process is common in the non aerospace also. So much so we removed the welders from the machine shop building completely.

    How about minimum material removal and equal material removal? Sure the part can be made from that 2" thick material but Boeing wants a .250 equal material removal.

    Lots of little things like that can ruin your day if you don't follow them. Ask Mike above about these little details. They are why aerospace parts are so expensive.

    Sent from my Pixel 3 using Tapatalk

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