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Design of a Modern Plating Facility
ISSN: 0148-7191, e-ISSN: 2688-3627
Published April 01, 1989 by SAE International in United States
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Dowty Aerospace was faced with the problems of maintaining high output at low cost. Production schedules did not allow delays in required plating. With the plating shop located remote from the production area, it was apparent some action had to be taken to insure increased workloads could continue to be met within the scheduled timeframe.
DOWTY AEROSPACE IS A WORLD LEADER in aerospace and defense systems engineering. Dowty companies are well known for the manufacturer of landing gears, propellers, engine fuel controls, flying controls, avionics, general hydraulics, seals, electronic controls and communications. In addition to this manufacturing, Dowty offers repair, overhaul, test and support facilities in all these fields. Dowty also provides full support for other manufacturer's equipment.
Dowty Aerospace Corporation, Product Support Division is located in Sterling, Virginia approximately five miles north of Dulles International Airport. This location includes the corporate offices, equipment and product support for repair and overhaul of components of some 40 different aircraft.
The Dowty plating shop was located in leased facilities approximately seven miles from Corporate headquarters. The leased facilities were not conductive to efficient process layout and utilization for plating. All plating tanks sat on the floor resulting in uneven lip height based on depth of tank. The lack of an overhead material handling system created inefficient parts handling requirements and separation of the plating facility from the machining operation increased transportation costs.
While the quality of plating was excellent and careful planning and coordination allowed meeting production schedules, future growth and flexibility could best be met with the plating shop located closer to the machine shop facilities.