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ASK THE EXPERT: Sandvik Coromant’s Bill Durow on conquering the new challenges in aerospace manufacturing, Part II

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Tomorrow’s aircraft will be required to rise above the net zero emissions initiatives increasingly coming to the fore. Doing so will require changes in both component design and materials used. In a two-part interview, Bill Durow, manager Global Engineering Project Office for Sandvik Coromant, details how this will change the design and makeup of aerospace parts and the tools required to manufacture them. PART II starts below.

SHOP: Will job shops serving the aerospace industry have to adopt new tools and processes and what tooling solutions is Sandvik Coromant recommending for aero engine components as a result?

DUROW: The big thing is educating customers, letting them know what’s available. We have a team in North America and teams across our other regional markets and we do projects for customers. Where is your biggest bottleneck, what is your biggest challenge? Give us the “ugly” materials and what we will do is develop a full process solution for the customer. We won’t just do it and hand it to them. We will sit down with their engineers and show them why we did what we did, what difference it makes, and what they should expect out of their tools.

SHOP: Where would you say North American job shops currently stand in terms of that transition?

DUROW: I would say they are doing a pretty good job. The issue they’re having is that they want to do more but just don’t have the resources to do it. If you look at the industry today, no matter who you talk to from the big OEMs right down to the Tier 3s, they’re struggling trying to find people. It’s not that they don’t want to make changes, they just can’t get it done. There are too many fires to put out in their shops, and they don’t have the resources to do it today. They can’t do what they need to get done. And what’s scary is the aerospace industry is not slowing down any time soon. It’s just going to keep ramping up. Boeing and Airbus both chose to increase their 2024 forecasts.

READ PART I of the ASK THE EXPERT interview with Bill Durow.

SHOP: How is Sandvik Coromant itself staying on top of all the aero industry changes?

DUROW: We always try to partner with aerospace industry organizations. We try to stay abreast with what’s happening at universities so that we are prepared for what is coming three to five and even ten years down the road. We want to have our R&D roadmaps streamlined with what is coming.

SHOP: Your advice to North America job shops serving the aerospace industry and looking to position themselves to remain competitive?

DUROW: Stay in the forefront of the tooling. The materials aren’t getting any easier. Don’t compromise. Try to optimize as best you can. Stay educated and look to your providers, such as Sandvik Coromant, and their engineering resources that can help to educate your staff. Just stay proactive. And if you find good people, hang on to them. People is going to continue to be the big challenge in the future. If you have someone good, hold on to them any way you can.

Bill Durow, is the manager of the Global Engineering Project Office, aerospace, space and defense, for Sandvik Coromant.

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