Lufthansa takes off

© Sergiy Serdyuk

Lufthansa Shannon Turbine Technologies have secured a 24% productivity increase and slashed the cost of consumables - including filters by 75% since adopting oelheld's IonoPlus and IonoVit EDM fluids as Production Manager Sean Moore outlined.

Lufthansa Shannon provide a refurbishment facility for several of the worlds major airlines including Air Canada and Air France plus engine builder Pratt & Whitney. A major part of the Lufthansa Shannon operation requires EDM sinking and hole drilling operations on components used in the hot end of the engine. These include high and low pressure turbine blades, nozzles and guide vane shrouds manufactured from X-40 and MAR 509 to RENE 77 and 142 nickel based alloys with typical hardness of Rc 60 +.

A fast turn round - even on exchange parts has kept the companies 24 Agie sinkers and Astec high speed EDM drills fully occupied 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. With an increase in demand Lufthansa Shannon required more effective machine utilisation. While extra capacity was desirable their first objective was to improve the efficiency of their existing EDM machines. To assess actual performance all currently available fluids trials were used in two identical Agie sinkers running the same set up - component. Operations included sinking and hole drilling - typical from .3 to .5 mm diameter 25 mm deep. Both electrode / pipe wear was reduced by up to 20 % against faster erosion times.

Sean Moore concluded: We have secured substantial savings an fluids and filters and have also improved the quality of the hole EDM surfaces. On the health and safety front our engineers have welcomed the low odour level and absence of any allergic reaction. Being environmentally friendly we are no longer faced with final disposal problems either. With 24 machines we have achieved savings of tens of thousands of pounds - in productivity terms we have gained the equivalent output of 5 or 6 machines.


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