Proving that the commercial aircraft, defense aircraft and land based turbine industries are continuing to grow and rapidly modernize, Prima North America recently announced receipt of six Laserdyne Systems orders from a collection of customers worldwide. These orders, for the company’s latest multi-axis laser system technology, are from U.S. based customers with international operations and from an Asian customer involved in production of parts for new aircraft engines and in repair of turbine engine components.
“The aerospace industry is committed to aircraft designs that are more fuel efficient, safer, quieter and have a more positive impact on the global environment” reports Terry VanderWert, president of Prima North America. “The new and upgraded engine designs are key to an airline’s profitable growth. Increasingly new designs and maintenance of current engine designs require manufacturing processes based on the latest, most advanced multi-axis laser technology. The result is that OEMs and tier-one aerospace suppliers are finding it necessary to invest in the best manufacturing systems available and that increasingly means Laserdyne laser system technology. The same forces are at work in MRO (maintenance, repair and overhaul) operations as well as in the manufacture of land based turbine engines.”
The current Laserdyne order mix for six systems includes: an East Coast engine manufacturer, a present customer, who ordered two Laserdyne Systems 450’s equipped with CL50k lasers; a West Coast-based tier one supplier who ordered one Laserdyne Systems 795 equipped with CL50k laser and an additional Laserdyne Systems 795 equipped with a fiber laser; a China-based aerospace industry customer who ordered one Laserdyne Systems 795 also equipped with the CL50k laser. All of these systems will be used for new engine component manufacturing.
The sixth order is from a turbine engine component refurbishing operation that provides engine maintenance support to many of the leading land based turbine users worldwide. Turbine engines require ongoing maintenance that includes refurbishing the thousands of cooling holes designed into every engine. The fastest, most cost-effective method for refurbishing these holes is with Laserdyne’s proprietary, high-speed laser drilling laser systems.
“This particular order is noteworthy because it is a result of a mandate to create the most modern, cost effective operation for this type of work,” reports Mr. VanderWert. “A group of turbine engine component engineers with international and multi-company backgrounds have been assembled to bring this vision to life. When an analysis of current technology was completed, Laserdyne Systems was told that there is a clear cut advantage for laser processing. With more high value components being refurbished and put back into service, there is a growing need for innovative processes to keep maintenance costs low and extend time between overhaul. The Laserdyne 795 system provided the most cost effective processes for refurbishing air flow holes in turbine engine components.”
“All of these orders are important and reflect the direction of the aerospace and energy industries,” stated Mr. VanderWert. “Convergent Lasers CL50k laser, available exclusively on Laserdyne Systems equipment, was key to securing these orders because of the unique ability to systematically control hole size in both new and repaired parts, avoiding operator guesswork. At least one company has ordered a Laserdyne turnkey airflow bench and the exclusive Laserdyne FlowComp™ software. This customer will be producing parts to rigid flow requirements with direct control from the Laserdyne 795 system.”
Laserdyne’s CL50k laser also allows for high speed hole drilling on the fly, which complements the many exclusive Laserdyne system features including the patented Optical Focus Control (OFC), Breakthrough Detection (BTD), and CylPerf programming at normal, minor, shallow and compound angles. Putting this combination of software and hardware to use has helped major turbine engine manufacturers maintain ± 2% airflow on new generation of components where ± 10% had been the norm.
Laserdyne customers have shown keen interest in Laserdyne Systems research showing that the same system with a single laser that is used for ‘conventional’ cylindrical holes can now being used for shaped hole production as well. Shaped holes, when used in properly designed components, result in fewer holes being required to accomplish a superior result. Fewer holes means shorter production cycle times, lower production costs, and a lower cooling air requirement. When put into practice, this results in a more efficient and cost effective engine brought about by Laserdyne Systems shaped hole technology.
With over 400 multi-axis laser systems in use worldwide, Laserdyne Systems products have become the technology standard for the aerospace industry and are used in turbine engine manufacturing facilities across North America, South America, Europe and Asia.