Clear communication is a vital part of ensuring the grinding experts at Duval Precision Grinding are able to provide customers the highest level of precision. In a recent collaboration, our experts had been working as a Tier-2 vendor for an OEM who was working closely with an end customer. Our team had been providing surface finishing services for the end customer’s chrome-plated, titanium helicopter components. Unfortunately, the OEM noticed a problem with the surface finish on the helicopter parts, which lead to further investigation of the communication between the three parties.

Original Two-Step Finishing Process Was Inaccurate and Inefficient

The grinding operation for this component required precise grinding of the interior surface of a hole in the part. The Tier-1 supplier that had contacted Duval Precision Grinding initially specified a surface finish that was rougher than what the end customer actually required. Once they received the parts back, the OEM performed a manual, secondary polish to smooth the surface to the desired finish, prior to assembly. However, performing the surface finishing in two stages in this way created inaccuracies with the part tolerances, which caused issues during assembly.

Precision Grinding Experts Determine a Solution

The helicopter component was constructed out of chrome-plated titanium, a challenging combination of metals. Titanium is a very soft metal, while chrome is much harder, which presented technical difficulties during grinding. Grinding fixtures are often built to cut certain materials better than others, though different materials require different, specialized grinding tools. Our precision grinding experts have years of experience with grinding different metals in the same plane or diameter; we knew what tools and steps were required to properly grind the chrome-plated titanium.

New, All-in-One Surface Finishing Creates Optimal Results

Once the root cause of the issue had been determined, the Tier-1 supplier, end customer, and our grinding experts were able to work out a more efficient solution. To maintain the correct tolerances and achieve the surface finish desired by the end customer, they developed a single-step grinding process for the part. By discussing the application and process directly with the OEM, we identified where communication could have been improved. We then mutually agreed to finish the part at Duval Precision Grinding to eliminate the secondary polishing operation being performed by the OEM. Removing this extra step helped guarantee the precision and accuracy this customer required, and resulted in a more efficient manufacturing process.

For the highest level of precision and quality, contact the precision grinding experts at Duval Precision Grinding today!

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