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Custom Hydraulic Press Features Automated Die Change

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Beckwood Press Company, with machinery distributor Kansas Oklahoma Machine Tools, recently delivered a custom press featuring automated die change to Spirit AeroSystems for use in the company’s Joule Form manufacturing process.

“No one else in the industry has a comparable high-tech and cost-saving solution for this application,” says Kevin Matthies, Spirit's senior vice president-global fabrication.

The application: Joule Form, a proprietary method developed by Spirit for shaping metal parts at elevated temperatures in the fabrication of aerospace components. Using Beckwood’s automated press system, Spirit efficiently can form lightweight titanium parts by directing energy only where it is needed, ultimately decreasing machined-part costs, according to Spirit and Beckwood officials.

“This is an emerging manufacturing improvement for shaping metallic plate products that can replace more expensive techniques, such as die forgings and extrusions,” Matthies explains. “Implementing this new technology will allow advanced production for parts such as those for propulsion systems.”

Headquartered in Wichita, KS, Spirit designs and builds aerostructures for commercial and defense customers. It operates sites in the United States, United Kingdom, France and Malaysia. In 2018, the company celebrated its delivery of the 10,000 Boeing 737 structure—the entire fuselage, along with propulsion and wing work packages—a task completed across five decades.


See also: Beckwood Press Company

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