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Parker wins robotic welding and ‘innovative manufacturing’ contract with Safran on aircraft production

Parker Hannifin, a provider of motion control technologies, has won a robotic welding and “innovative manufacturing” contract with Safran.

Parker Aerospace, a division of Parker Hannifin, has been chosen by Safran Oil Systems to work on the new CFM International Leap aircraft engine.

The Leap engine is 50-50 joint venture between GE Aviation and Safran Aircraft Engines, of France. 

Parker says its new innovative manufacturing and robotic welding methods will provide “improved manufacturing speed and quality” in the production of the stainless steel oil reservoirs.

Parker Aerospace says it plans to use “innovative robotic welding techniques to make oil reservoirs for the new CFM International Leap aircraft engine”.

parker aircraft engine oil reservoir
A Parker engine oil replenishment unit, which monitors and then distributes oil to two or three engines on any business jet

Parker says this manufacturing process, coupled with the use of “a new state-of-the-art, five-axis horizontal milling machine”, provides a significant improvement in tank quality and throughput.

Richard Mossey, business development manager for Parker Aerospace’s gas turbine fuel systems division, says: “Parker Aerospace is one of the leaders in the industry in welding aerospace oil vessels in both aluminum and stainless steel.

“Using robotic welding techniques improves weld times by as much as 50-80 percent from a manual weld.

“The robotic weld process demonstrates welds at a yield rate of approximately 95 percent compared to a typical yield of approximately 80 percent using other methods.”

Higher-quality welds mean engine producers get a better product and higher throughput on the manufacturing line.

Stephen Adams, business team leader Parker’s gas turbine fuel systems division, says: “A process that repeatedly shows a better product and that subsequently reduces lead time is our constant aim.

“It provides value to our customers, and Parker is one of the few companies that embraced and deployed this technology.”

The oil tank contract for the Leap 1A powerplant continues a more-than-30-year relationship between Safran Oil Systems and Parker Aerospace.

The Parker Naples site was the sole-source supplier of tanks for the CFM56, which is said to be “the best-selling product line in commercial aviation history”.

For the Leap program, Safran has a two source for every component on the engine.

Parker is selected as a second source for Leap-1A for the Airbus A320neo and Comac C919 – other aircraft engines.

Safran will produce the other Leap tanks in its dedicated company Safran Oil Systems.

This robotic welding is already being utilized for the oil reservoirs supplied by Parker Aerospace on two different engine types.

Mossey says: “It is Parker Aerospace’s intention to make the highest-quality product for our customers and deliver it on time so that both our companies succeed together.”