Strategic Partnership Enters Third Decade
Based in Leeds, AETC Ltd, part of PCC Airfoils LLC, manufactures a variety of blades for the aerospace and industrial gas turbine sectors which are supplied to major names worldwide.
The need for precision in the blade manufacturing process is key given the high costs of the nickel- and titanium-based alloys used, the costs of reworking, and the cost of a lost component if the stringent tolerances demanded in these sectors are not met.
This makes the accurate and consistent manufacture of the ceramic cores which determine the inner shape and geometry of the blades vital – and PCC’s key partner for these products is Morgan’s Certech® business, based at Corby and Derby in the UK.
The relationship has been in place for more than 20 years but has deepened significantly in the last two years as AETC has initiated no less than nine new blade programmes, each requiring the detailed design and manufacture of cores in Morgan’s proprietary K120 ceramic material.
K120 directionally solidified single crystal material boasts excellent high-temperature stability, making it ideal for use with alloys requiring high-temperature pre-heats.
For each new blade design, Morgan’s dedicated team is required to design and test prototype cores to prove that they meet profile tolerances which can be as tight as +/- 0.08mm.
Brenda Nichols, Group Purchasing Manager at AETC Ltd, explained: “Over the years we have worked with a number of core suppliers but in recent years have made Morgan one of our key business partners. While their pricing is competitive, what has been far more important to the development of the partnership has been their technical capability, partnership-led approach and willingness to go the extra mile.
“Whenever we have introduced a new product - and there have been many recently - the Morgan team pull out all the stops to get the new cores designed and manufactured so we can begin casting. Currently we are manufacturing 30-40 different blade designs, each with their own discrete core design, and Morgan’s responsiveness and agility ensures there is minimal interruption to the casting process.”
Robert Park of Morgan added: “As a supplier to some of the biggest names in global industry, AETC cannot afford to miss a deadline when it comes to delivering blades. Our role is to ensure not only that they have the cores they need, when they need them, but that each core conforms to stringent design parameters. The extension of the relationship into additional projects is confirmation of our ability to deliver to the needs of this customer in terms of speed, quality and consistency.”
For further information about Morgan’s Certech® business, please click here.