Automation of wax pattern production

The Challenge

To develop and mature to MCRL6+ a fully automated system for the manufacture of wax patterns for the single crystal turbine blade casting process.

The full system to be deliverable into the Advanced Blade Casting Facility as soon as it opened.

MTC’s Solution

  • Build the full system in a temperature and humidity controlled area, with access limited to the project team
  • Work collaboratively with suppliers of all machines, improving and redesigning where needed, to achieve process maturity
  • Perform metrology on all intermediate stages to find issues and root causes of variability
  • Install and operate all factory control IT
  • Run five day, 24 hour per day production demonstration system trial

The joint development of the wax cell with the MTC was fundamental to the successful start-up of the Advanced Blade Casting Facility in Rotherham
George Durrant, Engineering Programme Manager, Advanced Blade Casting Facility

The Outcome

  • Fully proven system delivered on time into the new factory
  • A difficult process has been taken from being fully manual to totally automated
  • The Advanced Blade Casting Facility is now the world leading turbine casting facility

Benefits to the client

  • 8-1 reduction in assembly lead time
  • Process variability dramatically reduced, leading to massive increase in system yield from 80% to over 95%
  • Significant reduction in ramp up time for new factory
  • Operators trained at MTC during factory build
  • IT systems debugged before installation in factory
  • Health and safety greatly improved

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