The Chairman’s Awards scheme recognises excellence in the successful exploitation of innovative ideas, delivery of outstanding support to the customer and supporting the company’s commitment to being a responsible business. The awards allow BAE Systems to acknowledge the efforts and achievements of its employees, partners and customers in delivering benchmark performance.
During a year-long research project starting mid-2017, Zünd supplied a G3 M-2500 digital cutter with a specially developed tool for removing debris from glass fibre components for BAE Systems’ production. The tool, which removes small holes from the cut components, typically ranging in diameter from 8-25mm, makes the handling of parts much easier and thus improves the productivity of the machine, whilst also making for a cleaner environment around the machine.
The solution was developed to extract waste materials from the flatbed cutter without any intervention from an operator to keep the production environment tidy. It also reduced machine downtime for cleaning and made better use of the operator time. With the addition of a specially-developed software plug-in, the hole removal system connected seamlessly with the Zünd-supplied nesting software allowing the system to know exactly where the holes were to be removed, whilst ensuring the waste was collected in the most efficient order to keep production times as low as possible.
A 3D print module was produced to test the principle during the early stages of the project, with an aluminium module being custom-made for production. The complete system was installed at BAE Systems’ Samlesbury site in 2018.