VSMPO-Avisma launches landing gear manufacturing center of excellence with MAG systems

The world's largest producer of titanium, VSMPO-Avisma, has ordered 19 additional MAG Cincinnati machining systems (www.mag-ias.com), plus an extensive package of support services and tooling. Announced at the International Manufacturing Technology Show, Chicago, the new machine order will be used to establish a global Landing Gear Manufacturing Center for Excellence in Verkhnaya Salda, Russia.

This follows orders for ten titanium machining systems from VSMPO and its neighboring Boeing JV company, Ural Boeing Manufacturing. The newest machines - which include four multi-spindle Ti profilers, 12 horizontal machining centers, three cellular pallet-handling systems and controllers - will produce landing gear components for the Boeing 787, 777, Airbus A380 and A350WXB, and the Sukhoi Superjet 100, among others. The machining systems and support services ordered by VSMPO and its Boeing JV since 2006 are valued at more than $70 million. Delivery of the 19 new systems will begin in early 2009.

According to Jeff Ahrstrom, MAG Cincinnati's vice president and general manager Advanced Systems, MAG was unique among competitors for this business, providing the broadest suite of products, services and capabilities. "Our ability to mix large vertical profilers with medium/large horizontal machining centers, material handling systems and controllers - all of it configured to the customer's requirements - made the most sense in achieving VSMPO's overall objective," Ahrstrom said. "We also have a strong commitment to the Russian market with a local sales and service presence at MAG Russia, established in 2007. This strongly influenced the outcome of the sales process, which was driven from the top down in our organization, including our chairman and chief executive officer, Mo Meidar."

Just as significant to VSMPO as the machine systems were the technical services and tooling provided by MAG Maintenance Technologies and its Productivity Solutions unit. "Customers realize they need to have the best technology on both sides of the spindle for overall efficiency and lowest cost of ownership," added Mike Judge, vice president of Productivity Solutions. "We have been optimizing process methodologies and tooling for VSMPO from the start, and have helped the customer achieve significant productivity improvements. Going forward, we will be providing a turnkey package of cutting tools, fixture design, programming and first article cutting for some critical parts for VSMPO."

VSMPO's current order includes: two five-spindle Ti profilers, two four-spindle Ti profilers, six HPC-1000XT horizontal machining centers, two H5-1000XT five-axis horizontal machining centers, three CINCRON automated material handling systems, two MEGA 5 horizontal machining centers and a MEGA 800 horizontal machining center.

The new machines include high-torque HSK-125 and 100 spindles specially configured for titanium machining, automatic tool changing on the large gantries, and high-volume/high-pressure coolant for chip flushing, improved tool life and cutting performance. According to Ahrstrom, these machines are particularly suited for machining Ti 10-2 and Ti 5553 alloys, which are a proprietary development of VSMPO.

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