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Springs meet demands of the aerospace industry

06 March 2008

Springs for the aerospace industry and other safety critical or precision applications bring new challenges to design and production engineers. The aerospace industry in particular has special requirements for materials, specifications, manufacturing tolerances, cleanliness and packaging. William Hughes has been manufacturing precision, high specification springs for many years and its modern manufacturing facilities and the latest spring measurement systems are ideally matched to the exacting requirements of the aerospace industry including kitting, direct line feed and protective packaging for vulnerable components.

Springs manufactured by William Hughes are used in vital items of aerospace equipment including oxygen systems, access hatches and the solenoid valves used to control the hydraulic and cabin pressure systems. The company can offer its customers a rapid design and prototyping service in a range of materials. This service is particularly suited to the aerospace industry where small quantities are required for prototypes with the capability to move to volume production once a final design is agreed. Quality systems to ISO 9001:2000, ISO/TS 16949:2002 and AS 9100 ensure consistency and accuracy of supply.

To meet the specifications for high temperature performance, many springs for the aerospace industry are manufactured in exotic materials such as Nimonic, Inconel and Ni-span. These expensive materials are more difficult to work than conventional materials and William Hughes has the machinery and expertise to use these materials with high accuracy and minimum wastage.

Production of compression springs is inspected and measured instantly and accurately using the latest high technology camera/PC based measuring system, determining the length, outside diameter, end coil profile, ‘squareness’ and parallelism of the spring when it is stood on its ground end face.

For critical applications, it is essential that any lubricants and debris from the manufacturing process are removed from the spring before it is despatched to the customer and William Hughes offers an ultrasonic cleaning process to meet aerospace standards for cleanliness. Following the cleaning process, springs are individually packed and labelled in sealed bags for identification and to ensure they do not get contaminated before use.

Based on this manufacturing knowledge and experience, William Hughes is an approved supplier to many leading companies in the aerospace industry and is an audited and approved supplier to Honeywell. Other customers include BAE, Eaton Aerospace, Lockheed Martin, Meggit and MEL Aviation.

William Hughes can also supply a wide range of bent wire forms and sub-assemblies for aircraft seats and trim panels. Seat frames are welded or clipped together and supplied as complete pre-assembled units. These rigid assemblies are ready for immediate use to suit the requirements of the foam moulding process.


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