Okuma Opens Aerospace Center of Excellence

Equipment, parts and engineering services will be available to all tiers of aerospace manufacturing for test cuts and productivity trials.

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Okuma announces that they have opened an Aerospace Center of Excellence at their facility in Charlotte, North Carolina. The Aerospace Center of Excellence is open to aerospace manufacturers for use as a testing and proving ground for advanced CNC machining technology to enhance productivity while solving the unique challenges faced by the industry. The nearly 10,000 square foot space currently houses nine CNC machines designed for the aerospace market, totaling more than $6.5 million in value. The space also includes a fully-operational metrology room including CMM equipment and other quality measurement devices, and a conference room. Additionally, visitors have access to the Partners in THINC facility, which currently houses an additional 16 machines, valued at $4.5 million and ranging from entry-level CNC lathes to machining centers and grinders.

In addition to Okuma equipment and dedicated engineering personnel, facility activities will incorporate resources from members of Partners in THINC, enabling access to an additional 50 suppliers of peripheral equipment and accessories. Tooling, workholding, gauging, software and other products necessary to optimize manufacturing processes will be easily available, as will the corresponding engineering experts.

“We envision that the facility will be used by various levels of aerospace suppliers, from Tier 3 to OEMs, to help them test new equipment, processes and materials. We’ve been working with our Partners to improve exotic metal cutting through the use of tool management software, cutting tool selection and other productivity enhancements, and now we want to help the actual manufacturers with these same challenges”, notes Jim Kosmala, Vice President of Technology.

The debut of the center will be December 9 and 10, 2014 when Okuma America Corporation hosts its annual open house. The theme of this year’s event is “Make the Leap” and will be showcasing technology and machines that enable manufacturers to move up the technology spectrum. Aerospace demonstrations taking place at this year’s event include:

Jim King, President and COO states, “While the Aerospace Center of Excellence is physically located in Charlotte, we are using our worldwide resources to support this effort. Okuma has a global team made up of people from Okuma Japan, Europe and America, who are working closely to identify new processes and technologies specifically to help this industry address their challenges. It’s an existing and ongoing mission and the Center establishes a centralized point of collaborative expertise for delivering innovation and productivity enhancements to aerospace manufacturers.”

The Okuma aerospace initiative has already resulted in a collaboration with The Boeing Company on the new ISO STEP-NC standard, originally presented at the recent International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS) 2014. Additional technologies will be on display at the Paris Air Show in June, 2015 where Okuma Europe and America will be jointly exhibiting.