Top Aircraft Engine Builder Relies on GF AgieCharmilles for Precision Milling

LINCOLNSHIRE, Ill. – MTU Aero Engines, a leader in the manufacture of commercial and military aircraft engines, recently opened a new Center of Excellence in Munich, Germany that relies on high-performance machine tools, including MIKRON HPM 800U milling machines from GF AgieCharmilles, for high-tech blisk production.

MTU opened the facility to accommodate an increased market demand for blisk use in modern engine compressors, including Pratt Whitney's PW1000G family of engines and Europrop International's TP400-D6 that powers A4000M military transport aircraft.

A blisk is a single engine component that consists of a rotor disk and blades. As such, it is also referred to as an integrally bladed rotor. Because they are made from tough materials, including titanium and heat resistant superalloys, as well as feature complex geometries, blisks present several machining challenges that can only be overcome using the latest machine tool technology.

Featuring a sturdy, compact design and large work envelope, the MIKRON HPM 800U machine is highly suitable for efficient, precise blisk production. It offers dynamic and economical milling performance through powerful operating mechanisms on the X, Y and Z axes and direct operating mechanisms on the circular and swiveling axes.

The machine's maximum X-Y traverse paths are 31.5" each, with a Z-axis that provides 27.6" clearance between the table surface and spindle nose. The MIKRON HPM 800U can machine workpieces of up to 31.5" in diameter and 23.6" high on five sides using tools up to 3.9" in length.

The HPM 800U's Step-Tec spindle provides high performance, even in applications such as large steel drilling with high-torque requirements. Inline motor spindle options include a 20,000-rpm version for general machining or 28,000-rpm version for machining with small tools. Both options feature the HSK-A63 interface and are perfectly suited to complex open-die surfaces or machining basic materials. The 28,000 rpm spindle uses CoolCore, a water-cooled rotor shaft, to maintain thermal stability and maximize accuracy.

According to Gisbert Ledvon, director of business development for GF AgieCharmilles in North America, aerospace manufacturing has long been a core expertise of GF AgieCharmilles, and the company is extremely proud of its partnership with MTU. "We take a lot of pride in how MTUrelies on our MIKRON HPM 800U machines to easily meet their high precision needs and stringent blisk manufacturing requirements."

When the Center of Excellence is running at full capacity, MTU will rely on 20 milling machines, seven machines with combined milling and turning operations, and eight coordinate measuring machines to boost production from 600 blisks per year up to 3,500 per year by 2016. The Center of Excellence can accommodate up to 24 MIKRON milling machines as part of MTU's optimized, automated process workflow system.

About GF AgieCharmilles

GF AgieCharmilles is the North American leading supplier of laser texturing solutions, wire EDM, CNC and manual diesinking systems and high speed/high performance 3-and 5-axis milling machines. For more information on the company's products and services, contact Gisbert Ledvon, GF AgieCharmilles, 560 Bond St., Lincolnshire, IL 60069-4224, Tel: 1-800-CTC-1EDM., Fax: 847-913-5340, or visit

Media Contact:

Gisbert Ledvon

Director of Business Development


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