in Vol. 2 - November Issue - Year 2001
Shot Peen Forming of New 1/4 - Dome Tank Segments for ARIANE 5
KSA in Aachen, Germany is specialized in contract peening and automation solutions for controlled shot peening processes and cost-effective production facilities.
MAN Technologie AG, a major supplier of tank systems for space/aviation, and KSA Kugelstrahlzentrum Aachen GmbH, a company specializing in contract peening and automation solutions for controlled shot peening processes, are conducting the qualification programme of new 1/4 - dome tank segments for the European launcher ARIANE 5.
The cooperation between MAN Technologie and KSA has lasted for years already: The German company has peen formed more than 600 cylindrical tank segments for ARIANE 4 launcher and more than 150 spherical curved 1/8-dome tank segments for ARIANE 5. MAN Technologie is processing, e.g. by welding, the tank segments to whole domes and supplies the subsystems to Arianespace.
Why now switch from 1/8- to 1/4-dome segments? Doubling the size of the segments means reducing seams and processing time for welding by half. The cost reduction per dome remarkable. These savings are reached without modifying the material properties and process characteristics, i.e. full process control and high quality of reproduction: Tolerances in the per mil area are the result.
Double-sided Peen Forming with two Robots
For qualification and serial production of 1/4 dome segments, KSA built up with the support of MAN Technologie a new peen forming facility at its plant in Aachen. With the introduction of the 1/4 dome segments the cooperation between MAN Technologie and KSA has reached a new dimension in terms of gaining quality and cost advantages.
The new facility's design for simultaneous, double-sided peen forming with two robots is not only for 1/4 dome segments, but also meets the need for highest flexibility in manufacturing other complex large aerospace structures. Especially, stringer-stiffened structures will be peen formed very efficiently by compressing and stretching the stringers on both sides simultaneously. Controlled shot peening will now be used in robot-aided series production with on-line documentation of the process data, visual representation of the process and integrated 3D laser measurement.
The companies expertise in implementing Controlled Shot Peening as a highly-automated peen forming process makes it an ideal partner for customers from the aeronautic and aerospace industries who require high-end applications. Support services include engineering services (development support, certification, process automation and implementation), system integration of custom-made HW- and SW-solutions and, last but not least, contracting for series production. These advantages and access to economic and flexible state-of-the-art production facilities provide the customer with excellent conditions for top-class results.