Omni Aerospace sees blue skies with addition of Starrag ECOSPEED F 1540 machines

Omni has two ECOSPEED F 1540 machines integrated into an automated Flexible Manufacturing System

With the bright glint of the sun ricocheting off the wide expanse of an airplane's wing as one settles into flight, it’s easy to recognise the skill, technology and precision it takes to build these flying machines.
Wichita, Kansas, is home to those skills. The aero manufacturing hub of the United States is home to companies like Omni Aerospace, which designs and manufacturers complex metal components for companies like Boeing, Bombardier, Gulfstream, Lockheed Martin, Spirit AeroSystems, Textron Aviation and the Department of Defense.

Starrag has played an integral role in the success of Omni Aerospace, a 25-year-old company founded by CEO John J. O’Neill. “We took our company to the next level by investing in technology equipment that can do things other people can’t do with their equipment,” said O’Neill of Starrag’s ECOSPEED F 1540 in a YouTube feature on Omni. “It’s been a game changer for us. It’s a unique piece of machinery that is unmatched for speed and accuracy.”

Omni has two ECOSPEED F 1540 machines integrated into an automated Flexible Manufacturing System (FMS). Machining operations include surfacing, pocketing and drilling. Example parts are wing ribs, which are made from aluminium or aluminium/lithium alloys. Each individual wing rib starts life as a billet, weighing up to 2,700 kg with dimensions of up to nearly 4,000 mm in length, 1,500 mm in width and up to 152 mm thick. Finish machined components can have as much as 95% the metal removed.

“It’s a unique piece of machinery that is unmatched for speed and accuracy.”

“Finished components can have as much as 95% the metal removed.”

The ECOSPEED’s main spindle motor performance plays a key role in complex machining performances. Rated at 120 kW, it can run nonstop at 30,000 rpm in S1 mode – coupled with the machine’s high dynamic capabilities (acceleration of up to 1 g in all axes and jerk up to 200 m/s3). While roughing, the ECOSPEED F 1540 machine can fill a 55-gallon drum with chips in less than a minute.

Each of the ECOSPEED F machining centres features a Sprint Z3 parallel kinematic machining head, which boosts the machine’s ability for highly-dynamic, simultaneous five-axis/five-sided milling. The head uses three parallel linear axes drives mounted radially equally spaced in the headstock. The spindle platform is connected to each drive via rigid levers with a pivot at one end and a ball joint at the other. When all three axes move equally and simultaneously, the spindle is moved in a straight line in the Z-axis. If the three axes move differentially, the spindle platform will be tilted in the A/B kinematic, allowing the spindle to follow any path within a spherical cone of ± 45 degrees at a maximum of 80 deg./second. Each machine has an integral C-axis and is equipped with the automatically loaded and tool changeable right angle head, which operate at any spatial angle between ± 135 degrees. The ECOSPEED F 1540 machines “perform beyond our expectations,” said O’Neill. “No matter what the challenge. No matter the part. No matter the complexity of the part, Omni can now exceed their customers’ expectations.” 

1. Challenge:
Omni Aerospace needed to produce large, flight-ready parts within the design tolerance and surface finishes in a time-sensitive manner.

2. Solution:
Starrag’s ECOSPEED F 1540 provides unmatched throughput for complex aluminium structural parts with payloads up to three-tons and unparalleled accuracy as well as an extremely high surface finish that requires no hand finishing. 

3. Result:
Omni Aerospace expanded its product offerings triggering a significant sales increase. Starrag opened new markets for Omni because of the speed, power and accuracy of the ECOSPEED F 1540.