As a precision grinding service provider for a wide range of customers and industries, it’s pretty common to get calls from new clients who can’t find solutions anywhere else. When a new client reached out with a precision grinding request for legacy aircraft components, the job could’ve been challenging given the old parts and obsolete documentation methods. Still, our team had the expertise required to read old plans, interpret them accurately, and develop a process using modern tech and cutting-edge quality control.


Decades of Precision Grinding Experience for Aircraft Parts 

The customer provided support services for military and government operations and needed stainless steel rotating pins to be ground to a fine level of precision by an ITAR-certified precision grinding vendor. The drawings provided to guide the work appeared to be the original designs and were produced long before computerized machining and measuring were an industry standard, but our team was able to interpret the document with ease. The part would need to be precision OD ground to Ø1.1250 +0/-.0005” and straight to within .0005”. Because Duval’s operations had experience in precision grinding for military aerospace components, we knew that exact outer-diameter grinding with a surface finish of 16 microinches or better was something we could accomplish.

Because standards, methods of measurement, and notation change over time, working with older plans and documentation can be a big challenge. Sometimes they contain obsolete phrasing or characters, requiring someone with experience to interpret the drawings and determine exactly how to approach grinding the parts using modern equipment. This helps ensure that the parts will continue to function within the existing machinery and not cause additional problems down the line. We worked back and forth with the customer to ensure the parts were being worked to their needs to provide a solid, working solution for their problem. 

Duval’s general manager Ray Provencher:

“It’s not unusual for us to receive prints that are dated that long ago. There have been a lot of changes in how blueprints are drawn and interpreted since that time. When you look at prints like that you see things that aren’t used anymore, the way they describe dimensions or note tolerance. 

One of the important skills [we have at DPG] is understanding these old prints and how to approach them with modern equipment. There was no CNC or CMM at the time these were made; it’s critical to understand how modern processes can be applied to reach that result. We can utilize these modern tools now but we still have the skills to do bench checks using manual measuring tools if we need to inspect to the print the way they would’ve at the time. It just expands our capability to help our customers achieve the results they need.” 

Bringing Legacy Parts To Spec With Cutting-Edge Precision Grinding

Duval provided engineering assistance, developing a grinding process that would use modern equipment and methods to grind and inspect the parts successfully.  With a turnaround time under 14 days, the customer was pleased to receive parts that met all necessary specs while exceeding customer service expectations. While the work was not unusually challenging, a less experienced shop would likely struggle to interpret old-fashioned prints, making Duval’s deep bench of experience critical to this customer’s success story.

If you need high levels of precision grinding expertise to get the job done right, request a quote from Duval Precision Grinding today.

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