Precision and Integrity
We produce engine components to withstand extreme tolerances for both military and civil aircraft. Extensive testing and supply chain control ensures consistent quality and product integrity.
RLC support a number of aircraft programmes with our significant experience in machining solid fan blades from precision and over-sized forgings using complex 5-axis machining techniques.
RLC have the skills and know how to produce complicated aerofoil shapes. Equally other processes such as forging production, polishing, measurement, non-destructive testing, frequency testing and chemical processing are discharged by RLC or within our extended supply chains.
Hollow fan blade products are also catered for by RLC, through our manufacture of “fan blade halves” or “fan blade panels,” where we supply the ongoing worldwide demand across all of the live aircraft programmes that continue to use these products. In particular RLC’s experience in machining titanium is demonstrated on fan blade products.
RLC have accumulated much experience in producing the complex geometries associated with fan blade leading edges.
A variety of approaches are used to produce these products, with different methods adopted based upon the constraints offered by the various different geometries that these products require. These include overall size (length & depth), degree of twist, depth of slot and other factors that must be considered when developing the optimum process which is likely to differ product by product.
RLC manage a supply chain from forged input to a fully machined, processed (including painting) and assembled engine kit of parts, ready for engine installation.
Complex 5-axis machining of aluminium alloys is fundamental to our success on these parts, however, the management of material inputs, processes and the extended supply chain is of equal importance. RLC manufacture a significant portion of the current worldwide demand for these products.
Similar to Hollow fan blades, RLC satisfy a significant volume of hollow guide vanes, where we produce “guide vane panels” for a customer.
Equally, RLC produce other guide vane products using a variety of processes and materials. In all cases RLC discharge 100% of the relevant programme volumes, including the production of complex aerofoil shapes via 5-axis machining, where required.
Building upon RLC’s experience of aerofoil manufacture, we have for over 15 years established the know how to produce very complex integrally bladed rotors or blisks.
Having demonstrated this capability across a broad portfolio of different requirements – particularly in the fan & low pressure compressor of an engine – RLC have now provided optimised manufacturing solutions for high volume manufacture of these products. With different solutions active within different product size ranges. Beyond the specialist area of raw material provision on these parts (which RLC manages), all other processes are supported within our internal facilities, with the use of state-of-the-art capital equipment.
We have a number of years’ experience in manufacturing engine control cranks.
This demonstrates our ability to produce highly complex mill turn components and effectively carry out the first level of assembly. We produce a range of different versions of cranks to support the construction of both civil and military aircraft engines.
We manufacture ducts from both castings and solid material.
In some cases, we have worked with our customers to convert components from a machined casting construction to machined from solid construction. This has resulted in significant improvement in component quality and product integrity. We have also developed a casting supply chain that can meet the demands of rapid prototyping requirements. The can be used not only to support various development programmes, but can also to reverse-engineer obsolete components.
One of the great strengths of the RLC Group is our ability to machine extremely complex castings – particularly in situations where a pair of castings must be machined together to withstand extreme tolerances.
We have extensive experience in producing legacy components where the effects of tool wear result in the castings having a greater degree of variability than normal. We have defined procedures that enable us to accurately assess a casting and implement a “best fit” process to ensure that the finished product conforms to specifications. We also have an in-house NDT facility to support the manufacture of these components.