February 18, 2011, Rybinsk – Today OAO NPO (research and production association) Saturn brings online a new custom shop, as part of the process of developing mass production of the SaM146 engine. This is where development of the moving blades and the segments of the turbine nozzle assembly of the low pressure SaM146 engine will be centered. Factory management over one cycle, and the construction of a working process taking into account the principles of ‘lean production’ will allow the factory to manufacture products that are more exacting and productive. The new shop will be allocated a leading role in the process of creating in NPO Saturn a center of technological competency in blade production: Turbine blades.

New shop ¹ 34 for producing parts for the turbine for the low pressure SaM146 engine is located next to the joint Russo-French (NPO Saturn and Snecma) enterprise VolgAero, in a building renovated with the most up-to-date technology. The total area is 7,300 square meters.

The shop’s working process was put together considering the demands of effective production programmes, and all parts development is organized on a closed technological cycle. The shop’s design was checked out by a specialized organization. The lay-out of equipment regarding development corresponds with the path of technical processes and decreases interdepartmental and internal workshop streams and provides the shortest path for parts and job shops through all phases of the production cycle and allows the equipment load factor to increase. While the production building was getting its interior and exterior facelift, its bosses were undergoing training in ‘lean production’.

The workshop area is divided into four manufacturing sections: the rotor blade processing section, the nozzle assembly segment section, the special processes section, and the shaft processing section.

In the rotor blade processing and nozzle assembly segment sections, they will manufacture the parts using a five-axis grinding machine for deep grinding and electrical discharge equipment.

In creating the production line for the rotor blades and nozzle assembly for the SaM146 in workshop 34, all the best equipment for deep grinding was used. For the long-term expansion of the technological potential on manufacturing rotor blades in shop 34, it is planned to purchase model SXC-512 five-axis contour grinders with relief tools and to implement additional steering axles in the diamond roll dressing device. The electrical discharge equipment in workshop 34 allows the rapid machining of various parts from hard-to-process materials while guaranteeing a high degree of accuracy and the best indicators of crispness and reformed layers.

To complete a full cycle of rotor blade processing and nozzle assembly segment, we created the special processes section, which stocks newly acquired equipment. This includes an installation of laser powder welding on the contact surfaces of parts, a vacuum oven to solder honeycomb seals and heat-treated parts, bead blasting equipment, a robotized fluorescent penetrant inspection line, x-ray inspection, and an etching area.

The laser powder welding technology for the contact surfaces of the rotor blades and nozzle assembly segments is new for our company. The quality of the alloy application and, accordingly, the quality of the parts, is improved by using this technology, which affects the production process by minimizing the time needed to manufacture the parts.

The only operation that remains beyond the scope of the new production is gas-cycling cobalt and chromium alitizing. This special process will continue to be handled in workshop 4, and to develop the power of this section it is slated for reconstruction in the near future.

The shaft processing section will include all the necessary equipment to carry out specialized processes on turbine shafts and ventilators. This includes plasma coating equipment, sand-blasting equipment, and equipment for grinding, coating, balancing, and specialized inspection of these parts.

Workshop 34 contains all the technology necessary to achieve quality production of parts for the mass production of the SaM146 engine, in the amount of 150 units per year. The schedule of installation of equipment envisages transferring existing equipment from other divisions and establishing new processing centers. The shop is counting on its opening day and has all the necessary production capacity to meet the SaM146 production targets for 2011, amounting to delivering 33 engines to the client. The equipment currently available for special processes such as the sand-blasting, welding, and soldering equipment already surpasses the volumes of 2011 production and is prepared to handle production of 150 units per year. The installation of mechanical processing equipment will continue until the end of 2011 and into 2012. All the acquired equipment meets modern standards for part manufacturing of 21st century aviation engines, and significant resources have been expended to acquire and prepare it and train qualified staff to use it.

Launch of rotor blade production in NPO Saturn on the base of the best equipment in the world and following achievements in fundamental and applied science, the increase in the enterprise’s production capacity is the primary condition for creating centers of technological competency in Compressor Blades and Turbine Blades. The creation of competency centers, begun at Saturn, is intended to meet the needs of the company, the enterprise, and the entire Russian aviation industry.