Northrop Grumman recommends Siemens CNC technologies for use by F-35 supply chain

To achieve high-tolerance machined parts for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program, the company is "strongly encouraging" its supply chain to explore use of Siemens Sinumerik Volumetric Compensation System.




Grumman F35 fighter plane


In June, Siemens Energy & Automation, Inc. announced that Northrop Grumman Corp. Aerospace Systems is "strongly encouraging" its supply chain to explore the use of Siemens Sinumerik 840D solution line CNC and Sinumerik Volumetric Compensation System (VCS) to achieve high-tolerance machined parts for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program.

"Siemens collaboration on the F-35 program began in early 2002 with a CNC technology symposium in Fort Worth attended by Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and BAe Systems," said Tim Shafer, director of Siemens Aerospace Center of Competence in Mason, OH. "Since that meeting, the program partners have applied the advanced features of the 840D to solve many of their complex machining challenges."

To find the right equipment to produce these high-tolerance machined parts, Northrop Grumman and its technology partners invested in developing and testing advanced technologies that would enable a step-change in machine tool accuracy. Northrop Grumman's testing revealed that a number of key machine tool attributes are necessary to achieve the required high-tolerance machined parts. These include robust machine design, machine tool repeatability, machine tool responsiveness, environmental temperature stability, and stable machine foundation.

The Sinumerik 840D sl CNC, from Siemens Motion Control business unit, can provide real-time internal compensation for geometric and feedback errors of a five-axis machine tool. In operation, The 840D sl's VCS solution factors all the machine kinematics of its various axes of motion, as well as pitch, yaw and roll. This corrects the tool center point and orientation, resulting in a substantial improvement in volumetric accuracy for fork-head style five-axis machines.

At the end of August 2009, Siemens is expected to make a significant announcement about improvements in CNC programming capabililities.Visit for a sneak preview.


See also: Machine control: Long bed CNC gantry mills achieve unprecedented accuracy
A Siemens Volumetric Compensation System and proprietary temperature compensation system combine with laser calibration to achieve +/- 0.003 in. accuracies.


- Edited by Renee Robbins, senior editor
Control Engineering News Desk

Machine Control, Motion Control news from Control Engineering



Siemens CNC VCS errors diagram

No comments
The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2013 Top Plant.
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
A cool solution: Collaboration, chemistry leads to foundry coat product development; See the 2015 Product of the Year Finalists
Raising the standard: What's new with NFPA 70E; A global view of manufacturing; Maintenance data; Fit bearings properly
Sister act: Building on their father's legacy, a new generation moves Bales Metal Surface Solutions forward; Meet the 2015 Engineering Leaders Under 40
Cyber security cost-efficient for industrial control systems; Extracting full value from operational data; Managing cyber security risks
Drilling for Big Data: Managing the flow of information; Big data drilldown series: Challenge and opportunity; OT to IT: Creating a circle of improvement; Industry loses best workers, again
Pipeline vulnerabilities? Securing hydrocarbon transit; Predictive analytics hit the mainstream; Dirty pipelines decrease flow, production—pig your line; Ensuring pipeline physical and cyber security
Upgrading secondary control systems; Keeping enclosures conditioned; Diagnostics increase equipment uptime; Mechatronics simplifies machine design
Designing positive-energy buildings; Ensuring power quality; Complying with NFPA 110; Minimizing arc flash hazards
Building high availability into industrial computers; Of key metrics and myth busting; The truth about five common VFD myths

Annual Salary Survey

After almost a decade of uncertainty, the confidence of plant floor managers is soaring. Even with a number of challenges and while implementing new technologies, there is a renewed sense of optimism among plant managers about their business and their future.

The respondents to the 2014 Plant Engineering Salary Survey come from throughout the U.S. and serve a variety of industries, but they are uniform in their optimism about manufacturing. This year’s survey found 79% consider manufacturing a secure career. That’s up from 75% in 2013 and significantly higher than the 63% figure when Plant Engineering first started asking that question a decade ago.

Read more: 2014 Salary Survey: Confidence rises amid the challenges

Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.