Agile Manufacturing Cell

  • AMC Description Although the mobile RMS can manufacture a wide variety of parts, it has repair part size and weight restrictions based on mobile process limitations. Several critical parts are either too large or have manufacturing requirements that are simply impractical for a mobile manufacturing environment. A prototype Agile Manufacturing Cell (AMC) has been designed to support the mobile RMS. The AMC will be located in the U.S. but would serve as a support system capable of handling these larger repair parts and processes not available in a mobile unit. The AMC will also be able to produce larger quantities of parts (50-100 each) in contrast to the RMS that is designed or low volumes on an as-needed basis.
  • Agile Manufacturing Cell Manufacturing Requirements An assessment of the manufacturing requirements of the Agile Manufacturing Cell (AMC) was conducted on a representative sample of parts, which may be produced in the Cell. The sample parts were identified by the National Automotive Center (NAC) as critical parts that require rapid manufacture. The Cell must have the capability of producing these parts as well as other ferrous and nonferrous metal parts.
  • Agile Manufacturing Cell Capabilities Turning, drilling, boring and threading.
    Turning removes material on the outside diameter of parts. Drilling creates a cavity in the interior of a part. Boring removes material from the interior of a part and forms a smooth surface. Threading creates both internal and external threads of any size and pitch. The lathe is controlled by CNC to ensure the concentricity of finished holes and outside diameters.

    • Milling and Thread Milling. Milling – Removing mateial using end mills and/or milling cutters to create slots, forms, and shapes in parts. The equipment often uses CNC control to ensure tolerances are maintained on manufactured parts.
      Thread Milling – Cutting thread forms in material by using a precision ground thread mill cutter. The equipment ofter uses CNC control to ensure the tolerances are maintained on pitch line and thread form.
    • Grinding Grinding removes material from parts using an abrasive wheel. The process ensures surface flatness, good surface micro-finish requirements, and maintenance of tight tolerances.
    • Grinding Grinding removes material from parts using an abrasive wheel. The process ensures surface flatness, good surface micro-finish requirements, and maintenance of tight tolerances.
    • Surface Grinding Removing material from the surface of a material (usually ferrous) by means of an abrasive grinding wheel. The part is moved under the wheel as the wheel is allowed to contact the part at a controlled feed rate.
    • External Diameter Grinding Removing material from the surface of outside diameter of material (usually ferrous) by means of an abrasive grinding wheel. The part is moved under the wheel as the wheel is allowed to contact the part at a controlled feed rate. The part is supported by non-abrasive drive wheels, which support the part during stock removal
    • Pressing Arbor presses are used for part assembly, part disassembly, and push broach-machining operations.
    • Broaching This is a method of creating a keyway in material by pushing a precision ground broach tool through a bushing guide tool located in the work-piece. The bushing guide locates the broach and ensures that the keyway formed is square to the location diameter of the part. The finish ground size of the broach determines the resultant size created in the part.
    • Hobbing Hobbing is the cutting of gear teeth with a precision ground, milling cutter on either a gear or a spline shaft. The hob is a milling cutter that has been ground with the profile of the desired gear tooth form. As the hob is rotated to cut the desired tooth form, the machine control determines the timing of the chuck movement to complete the entire gear form.
    • Shaping Shaping is creating an internal form with a precision ground cutter being moved in a reciprocating motion. (An internal gear is shaped using a cutter with the gear tooth form ground into the cutter.
    • Vibratory De-burring and Super Finish Vibratory de-burring insures all parts, inside and outside, are clean and free of sharp edges. Correct media size selection and cycle time is critical to obtain desired results. Vibratory and chemical treatment of hardened ferrous parts improves wearing characteristics. (Part life is improved by 3 to 4 times.)
    • Heat Treating Heat treating modifies the microstructure of material resulting in increased surface hardness and improved core properties. Parts quench hardened must be tempered to relieve the stress of the quench operation.
    • Traditional Heating Heat treating is traditionally carried out in an oven which raises the part to a specified temperature, holding the temperature until the desired part characteristics are achieved.
    • Hardening Induction hardening uses inductive heat and rapid quench cooling for the direct hardening of ferrous materials to improve wear properties of the part. After induction hardening, a controlled heat (less than the austenitizing temperature of the material) is applied at a precise length of time to soften the hardened material to produce desired changes. Case hardening uses heat to improve strength and toughness to withstand stress.
    • Coatings Coatings are required to preserve components. Three basic coating technologies are currently employed in manufacturing.
      Painting
      Plating
      Anodize Coating
    • Painting Painting provides protection against corrosion and increases the life of parts. The process requires a paint booth and an exhaust system to protect operators from toxic fumes. The exhausted fumes must be collected and scrubbed prior to emitting them to the atmosphere. Paints used include Chemical Agent Resistive Coating (CARC), epoxy primers/paint, lacquer, enamel and phosphate paints. Spray applicators require a clean, dry source of compressed air. Paint over spray can be greatly reduced with an electrostatic spray system.
    • Plating Electrochemical deposition of material onto electric conducting parts while in a caustic bath solution. The process generates non-friendly environmental waste products. The wastewater must be treated prior to the discharge of effluents.
    • Anodize Coating Anodizing is a surface oxidation process that takes place in an electrolytic bath. An aluminum oxide coating formed on aluminum parts is extremely hard and abrasive. The process generates non-friendly environmental waste products. The wastewater must be treated prior to the discharge of effluents.