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API and NCMS Honored

Collaboration results in Defense Manufacturing Excellence Award

Published: Sunday, February 21, 2010 - 20:47

(Automated Precision Inc.: Rockville, MD) -- Automated Precision Inc. today announced that its pioneering efforts in volumetric accuracy for large machine tools (VALMT) was recognized this week with a Defense Manufacturing Excellence Award presented by the National Center for Advanced Technologies (NCAT). The VALMT project was a collaborative effort under the direction of The National Center for Manufacturing Sciences (NCMS) and included partners Automated Precision Inc., The Boeing Corporation, Siemens Energy and Automation, and MAG Cincinnati Machine, as well as the DOD installations U.S. Air Force Logistics Center, Naval Foundry and Propeller Center, U.S. Navy Flight Readiness Center East, and the U.S. Army Anniston Depot.

Marketed today as API’s Volumetric Error Compensation (VEC), this innovative process establishes a new methodology in volumetric error compensation for large machine tools. VEC has proven to reduce machine tolerances six- to tenfold over previous methods and can usually be finished in less than one day. It is estimated than the improvement over current assembly practices and measuring will save the Department of Defense
(DOD) and the commercial aircraft industry millions of dollars annually.

“The innovative VALMT project will save the DOD millions while ensuring weapon systems are mission ready and available for our war fighters when they need them,” says NCMS vice president Chuck Ryan. “This technology will also pave the way for reducing the manufacturing costs of commercial ships and aircraft, benefitting both government and industry.”

“This groundbreaking process will dramatically reduce assembly and fitting costs, which represent up to 1 percent of the total cost per aircraft,” says Sam Easley, engineer/scientist of metallic processes at The Boeing Company. “On large programs like the F-18 or the 700 aircraft series, we could save $100 million per year.”

“VALMT has the potential to save the U.S. Navy money and shave valuable time off of vessel construction costs, putting assets where they are most needed, with the war fighter,” says Faris Ibrahim, mechanical engineer of the Naval Foundry and Propeller Center.

“The success of the VALMT project rests heavily on the technical expertise and collaborative R&D experience of the NCMS and its partners,” states Richard Curless, CTO at MAG Industrial, “The NCMS has been a leader in bringing government and industry together to create usable technologies for more than 23 years, and this project is just another of many feathers in their proverbial cap.”

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About The Author

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Automated Precision is the world leader of advanced metrology solutions for industrial and research applications. Founded by Dr. Kam Lau in 1987, API has pioneered progressively higher standards of accuracy for coordinate measuring and machine tool operations. API products are installed and used by all of the world’s leading aerospace, automotive, machine tool, and CMM manufacturers. API’s experienced engineering team is unmatched in its ability to deliver advanced metrology products which meet the needs of rapidly evolving industrial technologies.