Swarf waste removed effectively for aircraft manufacturer

The Problem

During the manufacture of Airbus wings, large aluminium billets are machined down to 5% of their original mass (3.2 tonnes down to 250kg). This creates a vast amount of swarf.  Airbus had considered a number of options to remove this material from the machining beds, which included a vacuum process and a combination vacuum/blower technique. Both proved to be highly expensive and difficult engineering challenges.

The Solution

Mounted in the throat of the moving gantry that houses the machining heads are 30 Air Knives ranging in length from 150 to 1520mm which blow the debris towards the edges of the work bed into collecting gullies.  These Air Knives are powered by a single inverter controlled 110kW radial blower (4000 CFM) housed in an acoustic chamber.

The Outcome

“To achieve efficient and accurate machining, a lot of fine adjustment was required during set up.  ACI has been flexible and accommodating to help us accomplish our operating objectives with regard to finding the correct air delivery patterns, volumes and velocities – all with good effect”. Peter Jarvis, Project Manager, Airbus UK.

Air Knife Systems

ACI Air Knife Systems are blower-driven solutions that increase production efficiencies and save you significant running costs. Our air knife systems have a uniform slot design that projects an uninterrupted sheet of precisely controlled, high velocity air – thereby supplying a powerful flow across the entire surface of the product being processed.