Log in to use our free company, program and sector update tracker feature.

May 2007 edition

Airbus adds more HMCs

By Daniel Cook

Airbus’s A320 manufacturing operation at Filton in the UK has added further horizontal-spindle machining centres (HMCs) in recent months, an Airbus source told Airframer.

The factory, which machines ribs for the ever-popular A320 aircraft as well as for the upcoming A380, now has a total of six MAG-3 HMCs and four of the larger MAG-4s up and running, the source said.

Like the MAG-4s, the MAG-3s are organised into a flexible manufacturing system (FMS), linked by a rail-guided vehicle and served by a nine-pallet handling and storage system. It is thought that all six MAG-3 HMCs are joined into a single six-machine FMS, rather than being divided into two or more centres.

The cost of three of the six FMS-linked MAG-3 machines was said to be some £5m, valuing the total MAG-3 set-up at an estimated £10m. Another £2m has been spent by Airbus Filton on a twin-pallet Makino five-axis HMC. Both systems were supplied by NCMT, the UK sales agent for Japanese machine-builder Makino.

The larger MAG-4 set up, opened in 2003, comprising four machines principally used for milling A380 wing ribs, cost a total of £16m to install, Airbus says, which means it has so far invested an estimated £28m in its flexible manufacturing operation.

For their money, they have developed an impressive “state-of-the-art” automated manufacturing system which radically reduces the man-hours required in machining ribs for the A320 and A380 aircraft lines, an engineer who is familiar with the FMS set-up ....

Full report (845 words) is available by subscription:  

Tell a friend/colleague about this story:



 Contact details from our directory:
NCMT Ltd Machining Systems, Machine Tools, Tooling
Airbus S.A.S. Airframer
Makino Milling Machine Co. Ltd. Milling, Machining Systems
Knowledge Technologies International, Ltd. Computer-aided Engineering

Subscribers are able to access the full text of articles on this web site, and in a downloadable PDF newsletter. If you have a subscription already then please log in, otherwise see our latest subscription offers.

Enhanced listings:

Korea Jig and Fixture (KJF)
Leading tooling manufacturer in Korea, having competencies in large assembly jigs and moving lines.

Ascent Aerospace
Ascent Aerospace is the leading provider of aerospace tooling systems, assembly automation and factory integration.

Redcliffe Precision Ltd
Aerospace Multi Axis CNC Precision Manufacturers & Thread Rolling Specialists.

Dymax Corporation
A leading manufacturer of advanced light-curable adhesives, maskants, coatings, oligomers, light-curing equipment, and fluid dispense systems.

Sigma ASL Limited
Engineering and manufacturing company with in-house and outsourced operations, AS9100 accredited and fully NADCAP compliant.

See our advertising tariff.


data pages remaining in monthly quota for non-subscribers

© Airframer Limited, operated under licence by Stansted News Limited 2018. Terms & Conditions of reading. Privacy policy