When producing jet engines for civil and military aircraft, manufacturers in the aeronautics industry have to move large numbers of parts and tools from the tooling center to the assembly line in another building every day. They must also be able to identify parts throughout the process. In doing so, they must comply with numerous anti-FOD (Foreign Object Damage) regulations and standards. This is where these industry giants turn to SkinPack.
SkinPack is a French company specializing in high value-added packaging and workspace optimization solutions. One of the company's key services, particularly for companies in the aeronautics sector, is the solution of kitting. These highly sophisticated part carriers are used to transport, protect and optimize production flows for all the parts to be assembled on a product, offering concrete solutions to the problems of FOD risks and non-quality.
Safran Aircraft Engine, a major player in the design, manufacture and maintenance of civil and military aircraft engines, recently called on SkinPack's expertise in connection with the production of their LEAP-1A engine, the replacement for the CFM-56. This engine, integrated in A320 / B737 and COMAC aircraft, is produced on an assembly line that has to accommodate production of over 37 engines per week. The high production rate demands impeccable organization from the logistics and assembly teams.
After consulting Safran Aircraft Engine's logistics team, the SkinPack team set up a custom tray design and production process.
The first step in this project was to digitize every single part of the LEAP-1A engine, without exception. To do this, SkinPack chose to use the 3D scanner HandySCAN BLACK | Elite from Creaform, due to its accuracy, measurement rate, high resolution and portability. The measurements had to be taken on Safran Aircraft Engine's premises, without affecting the company's operations.
Once scanning is complete, the files are processed in VXelementsCreaform's 3D data acquisition software. Using this software, the SkinPack team carried out the various adjustments and other post-processing steps, before exporting them to CAD software.
Once this stage had been completed, it was now possible to begin the ergonomic design and optimization of the trays themselves, in coordination with the customer's methods and logistics, and then proceed with the validation of the 3D visuals.
Finally, the team launched the various stages of tray production: spraying with SkinPack's specific, patented membrane, high-precision CNC machining of the tray foams, followed by integration of the identification, coding and counting components.
The trays of kitting were then deployed in the tool store for transfer to the assembly line located in another building 200m away. Four sets of trays had to be delivered each day, as each part of the LEAP-1A engine had to be transported using these trays.
All in all, this project involved over 1,500 parts scanned at Safran Aircraft Engine's premises, the production of 36 different trays, some of which can be cut to size, with the exact imprints of the engine parts, and the integration of all screw-type parts on removable foams for preparation by another workshop. To date, SkinPack has produced over 900 trays for this project alone.
A step ahead of the competition
Using the scanner HandySCAN BLACK | Elite for digitizing set SkinPack apart from the competition. Indeed, the speed of set-up and the high precision of the data acquired on a wide variety of materials played a crucial role, since these measurements had to be taken on site. What's more, it would have been more complex and time-consuming to obtain exact impressions of the parts in order to machine the foams accurately, without digitizing the parts and creating a digital library.
Oscar Llinares, SkinPack's Managing Director, states that "producing foams to the exact shape would not have been possible without this technology developed by Creaform", then adds that "the ease of use, deployment and rapid acquisition allow us to have a minor impact on our customer's activities during scanning campaigns." He concludes by saying that "acquisition has become the cornerstone of our entire business. All our physical and digital solutions cross the acquisition road at some point".
SkinPackbased in Châtellerault, France, is an innovative player in the field of solutions for protecting and controlling parts, and optimizing flows and human operations in the aeronautics, aerospace and defense industries. The company offers services to improve ergonomics through specific part supports (trays, crates, foam) and workstation layouts, as well as providing concrete solutions to FOD and non-quality risk issues.
SkinPack supports its customers as they ramp up their preparation, assembly, disassembly and assembly activities, thanks to concrete innovations and recognized know-how. The company facilitates the transition to Industry 4.0, with the localization of parts and sub-assemblies via their supports, and the integration of virtual and augmented reality into the organization of production resources, with the creation of assembly routines in augmented reality.
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