Guest Blog: Engineering a Better Tomorrow with Manufacturing Technology

By February 4, 2016Shopfloor Main

 

The following is a guest blog post from Don Kinard, Lockheed Martin Fellow, posted after NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons attended a systems demonstration, led by Kinard, at Lockheed Martin’s Dallas facility during the 2016 State of Manufacturing Tour:  

Continuing our mission of solving complex challenges, advancing scientific discoveries and delivering innovative solutions to help our customers provide global security, Lockheed Martin is using advanced manufacturing technology to build the newest fifth generation fighter: the Joint Strike Fighter, or F-35 Lightning II.

Lockheed Martin Fort Worth Texas Photo by Randy A Crites customer Karen Hagar. New technology images for Joe Pappalardo with Popular Mechanics Magazine

Lockheed Martin Fort Worth Texas Photo by Randy A Crites customer Karen Hagar. New technology images for Joe Pappalardo with Popular Mechanics Magazine

Some of the key technologies Lockheed Martin is using to enhance quality and efficiency within F-35 production operations include additive manufacturing, structured light scanning, automated drilling, robotic spraying of coatings and optical projection of work instructions for assembly. Additive manufacturing has already been used to produce more than 5,000 tools for the F-35, and development is underway to mature additive for structural applications for cost savings, as well as the production of integrated components not possible with conventional subtractive machining.

Similarly, through use of the F-35 digital thread, design changes go directly to the affected work stations ensuring the technician always has the current engineering requirements. For example, using optical projection, assembly information is projected directly onto the component, eliminating the need for crafted templates and drawing interpretation.

Just as the F-35 is defining the future of fighter aircraft, the technology used in the manufacture of the aircraft is defining the factory of the future.

Jennifer Drogus

Jennifer Drogus

Director or Media Relations at National Association of Manufacturers
Jennifer Drogus is the Director of Media Relations at the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), the nation’s largest industrial trade association and the leading voice for the manufacturing sector in the United States. She is responsible for coordinating media and strategic communications to promote the NAM’s policy agenda. Ms. Drogus specifically focuses on media relating to International Economic Affairs, Tax and Domestic Economic Policy, which includes key topics such as trade, investment policy issues and economic conditions for the manufacturing sector.Ms. Drogus also coordinates media for the NAM’s Chief Economist.
Jennifer Drogus

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