Rolls-Royce makes virtual version of 90% of its machines


rolls oryceAero engine manufacturer Rolls Royce runs virtual versions of more than 250 of its machine tools worldwide, 90% of its total machine tool fleet. “We know from experience that each complex component will require around 400 models to truly match the digital to actual world, including the machine tool, manufacturing stage models, tooling and fixtures and so on. However, the combination of Siemens NX and Vericut has improved our efficiency and ensured our productivity, which helps us achieve our delivery promise to the end customer,”  said Mark Heyman, Rolls-Royce’s Chief of Manufacturing Engineering CAM & SFS., referring to the CADCAM package from Siemens PLM software and post-processing software from CGTech.

He was speaking at the ‘Essentials for Excellence in Aerospace Manufacturing’ conference was held at the Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC), Ansty, Coventry, on 26 November 2015.

Heyman explains that with annual revenues of £1.6 billion and an order book of £74 billion, the company’s manufacturing capacity is booked for more than five years ahead. As such there is a continual demand for engineering time savings, ensuring component and machine safety to negate any loss of productivity.

On the day, presentations by CGTech, Siemens PLM and TTL highlighted how to reduce the lead-time required for installing machine turnkeys by using virtual simulation to prove the technology; component optimisation with the efficient reprogramming of parts already in production to take advantage of the latest machine performance and capability, as well as reducing time with knowledge re-use.