Precision Machining for Aerospace and Defense: Value Added Services for Aerospace and Defense OEMs and Tier 1 Suppliers

Primus Aerospace offers a variety of value-added services in addition to CNC machining, providing a turnkey contract manufacturing solution to aerospace and defense OEMs and Tier 1 Suppliers. These additional services allow Primus to perform most manufacturing in-house, saving valuable time and money for our clients, while reducing supply chain disruption risk. These services include assembly, part finishing, design assistance, and heat treat / stress relief.

Aerospace and Defense Engineering Support

When Primus Aerospace receives a contract for a job, our engineering expertise allows us to work with customers to ensure that the work contracted to our shop gets completed. For pre-production aerospace and defense parts, this can include a design for manufacturability (DFM) study. Our process engineering team is highly involved throughout the pre-production / new product introduction (NPI) process, from selecting materials and CNC machines to planning outside processes.  The time spent planning production ensures an efficient and repeatable process to machine high-precision aerospace parts.

Material Preparation for CNC Machining

When it comes time to begin machining, Primus offers much more than just precision 5-axis CNC milling and turning. We have a wire EDM to make precision cuts with ease – allowing creative production routing to save time and money. EDM is an electro thermal production process where an electrically charged metal wire uses the heat from electric current to cut through metal that is submerged in a de-ionized water environment. We use this process to not only machine production parts but to also remove metal powder bed fusion 3D printed parts from build plates (such as titanium 3D prints). This process can achieve accuracy up to a tenth of a thousandth of an inch (0.0001”) and is useful for creating advanced geometries out of exotic materials.

Primus Aerospace utilizes a large format water jet cutting center for creating near net shapes out of large metal plates. Water jet cutting accelerates erosion within selected regions of a metal sheet. Highly pressurized water is fed through a diamond or ruby nozzle into a mixing chamber where the pressure differential draws garnet grit into the water stream. The water-garnet mixture is projected at high pressure against the raw metal sheet. Primus Aerospace uses the waterjet table technology to cut a variety of metals including aluminum, steel, and titanium. Water jet cutting decreases CNC machining time by creating near net shapes as well as can create large sheet metal parts.

Primus Aerospace maintains internal heat treat capabilities for specific defense production parts.  By bringing the heat treat special processes in-house, Primus is able to decrease supply chain variability and cut waste from the process.  Our heat treatment ovens are used for stress relief, artificial aging, and annealing. When a part is heated and cooled in an environment such as metal 3D printing, internal stresses can build up due to thermal gradients created by the manufacturing process. Heat treatment is used to relieve these stresses by uniformly heating and cooling a part. Artificial aging is used to accelerate the change in properties experienced by a cast or forged metal part in a controlled manner.

The controlled application of heat can cause the aging of a part to occur in a rapid manner by accelerating the aging process that occurs very slowly at room temperature. Annealing is the process of uniformly heating a metal or plastic polymer to a specific temperature, holding that temperature for a given period, and cooling the part to induce solid state phase change and cause controlled metal recrystallization. This process creates a uniform, small grain size reduces internal stresses allowing for improved ductility.

Post-machining services

Primus Aerospace recently in-housed large bore honing to support an aerospace customer. This process uses abrasive stones to create precision surface finishes and tight-tolerance roundness on circular parts.  Honing is integrated into the production sequence to create parts with qualities required for specific aerospace and defense applications (e.g., hydraulic housings).  In-housing this process allowed Primus to provide a more turnkey aerospace manufacturing solution to the customer.

After all machining and outside processes are complete, Primus Aerospace is able to provide significant assembly capabilities, reducing requirements for our OEM customers.  Primus Aerospace provides a top-notch assembly service to create finished, flight-ready aerospace components. Our services include but are not limited to:

  • Adhesive/primer bonding
  • Bearing installation
  • Cables and Harnessing
  • Crimping
  • Conductivity and continuity testing
  • Gasket assembly
  • Helicoil / Keensert Installation
  • Helium Leak Checking
  • NAS/MS Hardware
  • Orbital Riveting
  • PCB Installation
  • Relief Plug Installation
  • Glass Potting
  • Relief Valve Installation
  • Rosan Fitting Installation
  • Soldering
  • Staking
  • Click Bond Nut Plates
  • Valve Installation
  • Laser Engraving and Part Marking

Post-machining services allow Primus to provide Original Equipment Manufacturers and other Tier 1 suppliers with turnkey manufactured parts and assemblies that are ready to hit production or final assembly.

Quality throughout the turnkey manufacturing process

Throughout machining and value-added services, Primus’s AS9100-certified quality management system ensures adherence to specifications. Primus utilizes visual, borescope, and CMM inspection services to support end applications in variety of industries. Our quality assurance professionals are extremely skilled and experienced in operating in certified environment for our aerospace and defense customers. Primus has a systematic method for preventing and removing FOD (foreign objects and debris) from our manufactured products. Our quality management system ensures we meet customer specifications and standards.

At Primus Aerospace, we offer a variety of services including engineering expertise, precision CNC machining, Titanium Powder Bed Fusion 3D Printing, wire EDM cutting, water jet cutting, honing, an AS9100 certified quality management system, heat treatment, and a variety of assembly services to meet any job’s needs. We are ready to tackle any job in our state-of-the-art (and ITAR-compliant) manufacturing facilities.

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