Frazer-Nash, a provider of precision engineering services located in Petersfield, Hampshire, UK, has produced a metal fastener using a Renishaw AM 400 Additive Manufacturing system for its customer Kwikbolt, based in Eastleigh, Hampshire, UK, for use during aircraft assembly. The company brought its AM capabilities in-house with the purchase of a Renishaw AM 250 system in 2014, and has reportedly worked closely with the company since.
According to Frazer-Nash, one of its most successful AM projects has been for Kwikbolt, said to be one of only a few businesses in the world to produce a specific temporary fastening device which is used to align aircraft panels and fuselage during assembly. The component simplifies the manufacturing process and is said to enable aerospace companies with align panels and fuselage without requiring a bespoke tool for every panel, helping to reduce costs, improve precision and speed up assembly.
By using AM instead of subtractive machining, Frazer-Nash stated that the fasteners can be produced with custom geometries at comparatively lower cost and with faster time-to-market. “By using AM, Frazer-Nash is able to produce components cost-effectively in small batch sizes,” stated Stuart Offer, AM Sales Manager at Renishaw. “In contrast to machining, no custom tooling is required, which results in improvements in speed and a reduction in manufacturing costs, particularly for such a difficult to machine part.”
Paul Mortlock, Managing Director at Frazer-Nash, added, “The Kwikbolt project is a true AM success story. Using AM means we can easily produce a bespoke component based on each aerospace customer’s requirements. Renishaw’s AM systems have been flawless since we started working together. Frazer-Nash now produces 25,000 AM parts a year and has expanded its range of components.”