Case Study:
Subsea Challenge

Troubleshooting a problem component
High precision requirement. Concentricity: 25µm, Diameter: 12µm
Severe duty application
End-to-end process management

Problem

Replace a failing component

Our client brought a problem component to us to see if we could resolve issues they were having. The aluminium component, used in deep-sea submarines, was being supplied as a casting. Due to poor detailing on the casting, the parts were not correctly aligned and many of the components could not be used with the client suffering a 50% rejection rate on the castings. This resulted in production delays, all because the component was unusable.

Solution

A high-precision approach to deliver consistent quality

We reviewed the components and used CMM and CNC to verify the features of the components in line with the customer’s drawing.

We were confident we could produce a quality part that would deliver the level of precision needed. To do this we processed a solid aluminium billet on a 5-axis lathe. Although casting aluminium is a cheaper process, the impact of the inconsistent quality was offsetting any cost-saving. The greater reliability of our precision engineered solution offset the extra cost of using a solid aluminium billet.

Machining the component was only part of the task. We also needed to anodise and paint the external surface of the component – both tasks which if not performed with a high degree of skill would impact the component’s precision.

Result

The client is delighted with the result. They have gone from seeing a time-consuming, costly 50% failure rate to passing all 110 items provided by NTG over the past two years. The component has performed to its exact specification.

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