After extensive testing and evaluation, Northrop Grumman Corp. Aerospace Systems is strongly encouraging its supply chain to explore the use of Siemens' Sinumerik 840D solution line CNC and Sinumerik Volumetric Compensation System (VCS) to achieve high-tolerance machined parts for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program.
"Siemens' collaboration on the F-35 program began in early 2002 with a CNC technology symposium in Fort Worth attended by Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, and BAE Systems,” said Tim Shafer, Director, Siemens Aerospace Center of Competence. “Since that meeting, the program partners have applied the advanced features of the 840D to solve many of their complex machining challenges. Siemens is honored to receive recognition from Northrop Grumman for this latest advancement in CNC technology.”
To find the right equipment to produce high-tolerance machined parts, Northrop Grumman and its technology partners invested in developing and testing advanced technologies that would enable a step-change in machine tool accuracy. Extensive on-machine testing and evaluation by Northrop Grumman has demonstrated that a quality machine tool appears to be made substantially more accurate by using the Siemens VCS feature of their Sinumerik 840D solution line CNC. Northrop Grumman’s testing revealed that a number of key machine tool attributes are necessary to achieve the required high-tolerance machined parts. These include:
• Robust machine design
• Machine tool repeatability
• Machine tool responsiveness
• Environmental temperature stability
• Stable machine foundation
The Sinumerik 840D sl CNC can provide real-time internal compensation for geometric and feedback errors of a five-axis machine tool. The 840D sl’s VCS solution corrects the tool center point and orientation that results in a substantial improvement in volumetric accuracy for fork-head-style five-axis machines.