The Wheelabrator Group Technology Centre in Charleville, France, specialises in the development and manufacturing of shot-peening machines and ‘airblast precision equipment’ dedicated to the aerospace industry. The range, principally CNC machines and robotic systems, offers a set of successful and innovative solutions for the different surface treatments dedicated to the manufacture and maintenance of aerospace components (engine parts, landing gear, structural elements and wing panels).
The new Sisson Lehmann MP 1800, developed in close cooperation with aerospace OEM specialists, is dedicated to the shot-peening of jet engine disks. The operation, which crucially guarantees part reliability, consists of introducing high compressive stresses into the component surface layer, by high energy shot blasting, in order to improve fatigue life resistance.
The installation’s main features include:
Nine accurate synchronized axes
These enable the simultaneous treatment of external and internal surfaces of jet engine rotors. The machine has a six axis poly articulated robot which handles four projection nozzles, and a two axis manipulator equipped with a bore peening lance and an accurate numerical turn table.
Projection parameters to control abrasives
The media, continually calibrated in dimension and shape, is thrown by two automatic pressure generators. To guarantee the process, each nozzle feeding arrangement includes a set of high precision devices for shot flow regulation, air pressure regulation and air flow measurement. Besides these systems, an integrated control unit allows automatic flow calibration of each nozzle with continual precision.
User friendly interfaces and greatest traceability
The programming of the robot trajectories is achieved offline using 3D component and robot CAD drawings. This method allows the optimisation of machine immobilisation times and guarantees precision.
The machine programming has been developed especially for the application and offers a greater operation flexibility through specialised robotics (‘programmed stop’, ‘stop at the end of sequence’, ‘parametric sequence resuming’). The whole system is monitored by a PC supervision station ensuring the piloting functions and maintenance assistance, as well as a permanent audit of the process (registration of events, procedural follow up, stability statistics, quality report, production follow up).
Optimum ergonomics and easy maintenance
The whole installation is soundproofed not to exceed a 75 dbA sound level. The motorised front main entrance door provides complete clearance of the working zone, yet minimizes the layout space. For improved ergonomics, the main access zones for
operators and maintenance procedures are located at ground level. Additionally, a stairway and secured platform allow easy access to the higher levels.
After 12 months of production, this machine has successfully passed the most demanding qualification programme, and has been entitled to join the prestigious Sisson Lehmann MP series (Machine de Precontrainte in French, or Mastering Peening!) from Wheelabrator Group.