SPORT - a Nordic Association for Advancing Shot Peening Technology
There are very few non commercial associations or organizations worldwide that focus on shot peening. SPORT is one of them. MFN has been aware of this organization for many years and has been always impressed by the great interest and dedication of the members in the shot peening process. With the election of its new president Per Böhn in 2006, MFN asked for an interview.
(?) MFN: SPORT is a very strange name, and you think of course of sport related things. What do you mean with SPORT?
(!) P.B.: SPORT is a Nordic group within the field of shot peening and stands for Shot Peen Operative Resource Team.
(?) MFN: Oh, - it seems like an exclusive club.
(!) P.B.: Regarding the name of the group, and the first impression you get when you hear the explanation of the SPORT name, it might be that someone will think in this manner, but when the group started, the intention was to help all the members understand the means of shot peening, and to discuss openly all problems and challenges within this industry.
(?) MFN: When did you start up this group?
(!) P.B.: SPORT was founded in 1993 at ICSP in Oxford. The idea came up a couple of years earlier, and SPORT was initiated by Per Olof Karlsson at Volvo Aero in Trollhattan Sweden, and myself.
Per Olof Karlsson was selected as president of the group, and he was been in charge of the group until 2006. I was then elected as the president of SPORT from 2006.
(?) MFN: So you have been in this group all these years?
(!) P.B.: Karlsson and myself have been in the group since we started. Most of the other members have changed due to their different job relations, but many of them have been in the group for several years.
(?) MFN: You said it was a Nordic group. Where are the members located?
(!) P.B.: For the moment we have 14 members, mainly located in Sweden, but also in Denmark, Finland and Norway.
(?) MFN: What is the relation between the members of the group?
(!) P.B.: We are pleased within the group to have a wide range of people from different backgrounds. Mainly people from the aviation, automotive and tooling industries, but also Universities are part of the group.
(?) MFN: What is the purpose of the SPORT group?
(!) P.B.: The purpose of the group is to create a forum for the exchange of ideas and experiences related to problems, inventions and nomenclature in the field of shot peening. And hopefully the members of the group will have a high level of knowledge in the field. In such a surrounding, it's important that the members bring the group constantly to a higher level, as the requirements from customers are developed. Our goals are to influence customers design and specifications, address development concerns within the field, present a unified approach to suppliers, and coordinate development and testing in order to reduce costs.
(?) MFN: How are your companies able to work so openly together in the group, even if you are competing firms?
(!) P.B.: This question has been raised several times both with me and the other members of the group. Often at conferences we meet different people from other companies in Europe, but also from USA and Far East. Most of them wonder how we can be so open within the group, sharing information, and still be competitors. One of the rules within the group is that the membership in no way shall promote commercial interests. It's very important that all members both "give and take". In understanding of that it's necessary to not only be a listener, but also a contributor to both the group and other members.
(?) MFN: How do you finance the SPORT group?
(!) P.B.: There's no membership fee for the group, however, each member will be responsible for his/hers own costs for attending each meeting.
(?) MFN: How often do you have meetings, and since you have no budget, how do you finance the meetings?
(!) P.B.: Meetings are held twice a year. Each meeting is hosted by a SPORT member who will organize meeting locations, activities, lunch and refreshments. A meeting coordinator will be appointed to prepare and distribute an agenda prior to each meeting. The task of meeting secretary will rotate among all members. A meeting secretary will record the minutes of each meeting and distribute them to members following the meeting. To each meeting a guest speaker will be invited from suppliers, universities and institutes.
(?) MFN: Do you have some special areas of interest?
(!) P.B.: Yes, we have always had a discussion about media, including cast steel, cut wire, glass beads and ceramic shot. This is a main topic, since the requirements from the shot peen end users are related to strict tolerances. It doesn't help to have reliable expensive machines with good exactness if the media vary from time to time. Other areas are test strip gauges, Almen test strips, test strip holders, test strip simulation, residual stress measurement, education, certification, specifications, future development, machines, equipment and different methods of achieving residual compressive stress.
(?) MFN: Your main activities are not in the SPORT group - can you tell us about your company?
(!) P.B.: Volvo Aero Norge AS was established in 1976 as the Jetmotor division of Kongsberg Vapenfabrikk. In 1987 this division became Norsk Jetmotor , and in 1999 Volvo Aero Corporation bought 77 2/3 of the shares. The rest is owned by Pratt & Whitney. The company name was at the same time changed to Volvo Aero Norge AS. Volvo Aero Norge is manufacturing jet engine components for the world's largest aircraft engine manufactures.
The company represents a technological competence center within advanced mechanical production. We have all necessary resources within production, including the special processes in house, in order to be competitive in an international market. Together with Volvo Aero Corporation in Trollhattan we attend all different programs for the Aero market in one way or another. Our strategic components are exhaust cases, turbine cases, shafts and vanes and we are attending both military and civil engine programs. Volvo Aero Norge's main customers are Pratt & Whitney, General Electric and Snecma, all within new production. Volvo Aero Norge works either as a sub supplier or mainly as risk and revenue sharing partners. It means that we invest into different aircraft engine programs, take the risk of the investment, but get paid back during the income of the program's lifetime.
(?) MFN: For how long have you been working with shot peening?
(!) P.B.: I started in the company back in 1980. And with just a few interruptions, I have been working in shot peening now for more than 25 years.
(?) MFN: You have a lot of different components for the engine at VAN. Do you shot peen all of them?
(!) P.B.: No, we just perform shot peening of the critical parts, but due to the fuel consumption, it looks like some of the engine suppliers want to do more shot peening of new and other type of components to save weight.
(?) MFN: Compared to when you started and until this day, how is the development regarding media, equipment and requirements/specifications?
(!) P.B.: When we talk about media, and specially cast steel shot, I think the shot is more or less the same for all this years, but sometimes the average quality varied to the worse. And from my point of view, I think it's because the jet engine users are a relatively small group compared to other businesses using steel shot. The big users are always hunting for lower prices, but the jet engine users require a superb quality. Glass beads have more or less the same quality during these years. Ceramic shot is just used by of one of our SPORT members, and not so much a topic at our meetings.
I think that cast steel shot has been replaced more and more by cut wire shot. This is mainly in the gear industry, but also for the rest of the car, truck and bus industry. Most of the engine suppliers like Pratt & Whitney and General Electric have now approved the replacement of cut wire, so future programs and also approval for old programs will likely be with cut wire.
Almen strips is almost the same and even the hardness has been the same these years. Someone within SPORT has also started using Almen strip within specifications, made of Aluminium.
The Almen gauge has been improved, but there is sometimes a question of how to calibrate them, both to trust the calibration and the wear of the components. Machines have been improved, both for accuracy of feeding the shot, controllers, movements and print out for the jobs.
We at MFN would like to thank Per Böhn for this interview.
For information about the SPORT group:
Per Böhn, Volvo Aero Norge AS
Tel +47 92828315