MAG Industrial Automation Systems (Erlanger, Ky., USA) announced on June 8 that it has received an order, valued at approximately $7 million, from Lockheed Martin (Marietta, Ga., USA) for two 6-axis, CNC-controlled AutoDrill systems to be used in the aerospace manufacturer's Marietta plant.
Scheduled for delivery in Q1 2011, the precision automated drilling and trimming systems will use a surface-detecting pressure foot to drill and countersink thousands of fastener holes through complex contoured surfaces comprised of stacked composite materials, aluminum and titanium for the F-35 Lightning II stealth fighter's Center Wing assembly. These are the fourth and fifth MAG AutoDrill systems sold to Lockheed; the other three are located in the company's Fort Worth, TX plant.
The newest drilling systems include an upgraded 24,000-rpm spindle and new MAG head with integral vacuum ducting and no external hoses or wires. The head design supports the porting of hoses, wires and cables through the head, versus external porting, to avoid interference during operation. As a major component of the Center Wing work cell, the AutoDrill systems are designed for continuous operation at 100 percent duty cycle for three shifts per day. The systems are designed to be ergonomically friendly with an emphasis on accessibility and maintainability of components, and include MAG's Freedom eLog software, with an event-log tracking tool to assist production engineering and maintenance.
The AutoDrill systems will be enhanced with MAG's advanced volumetric error compensation (VEC) capability for improved drilled hole positional accuracy. Developed especially for improving machining accuracies for large 5-axis machine tools by 50 percent or more, VEC analyzes and corrects positioning errors in all machine-tool axes simultaneously for unprecedented machining accuracies on large parts.