A team made up of employees from British Aerospace Systems and the Starrag Group has won the prestigious Silver Chairman’s Award for Innovation from BAE Systems.
The award is in recognition for their development of new technology for the cost-effective processing of safety-critical Titanium alloy aircraft components. The team, which went by the name of “Two heads are better than one”, was one of over 3’000 nominations who were then whittled down to 16 finalists before finally receiving the prize in December 2012 at a gala event in Washington D.C.
Twin-spindle machining center
The team was rewarded for its successful multi-concept development, including production and implementation, of a new horizontal twin-spindle machining center with a weight of over 200 tons, which can mill two complex parts at the same time. This new development has been crucial in maintaining both highly-skilled jobs and the production of advanced, complex Titanium parts in Europe.
Partnership for success
“BAE Systems needed a best-cost solution in order to be globally competitive over the long term when it comes to modern Titanium processing,” said David Holmes, Investment & Infrastructure Services Director. “The current market was unable to meet our demands, so we decided to opt for a partnership with a leading machine tool manufacturer to jointly develop new technology which would fulfil our main criteria of operational safety, constant precision and high operational productivity.”
Efficient titanium processing
“We are incredibly honored to be part of the winning team for the Silver Award,” added Frank Brinken, CEO of the Starrag Group. “Throughout the entire development stage, we worked really well together with the BAE Systems specialists, and as a result, we now have the world’s leading solution for efficient Titanium processing at a location in Great Britain. The machine was delivered with typical Swiss punctuality and is already exceeding expectations in terms of performance.”
The BAE Systems production facility at Samlesbury in Lancashire is already using the new technology, while the Starrag Group is currently producing a second machine for a customer overseas.