BREAKING CONVENTION THROUGH PROCESS INNOVATION
Godrej Aerospace, engaged in the Hi-Tech Aerospace Mfg. activities since 1985, with development of critical, high precision spacecraft components, made out of exotic alloys.
BrahMos, developed by Godrej Aerospace, is short-range ramjet supersonic cruise missiles that can be launched from submarines, ships, aircraft or land. This missile is being developed by a joint venture between DRDO, India and NPOM, Russia. These missiles that are being developed at Godrej Aerospace Division plant in Mumbai have speeds that range between 3,430 Kms/Hr to 3,675 Kms/Hr. It has a Russian design and requires manufacturing bi-metallic adaptors made up of Aluminium Alloy – Pure Aluminium – Stainless Steel.
Earlier, various components that go into building a BrahMos missile were being developed partly using friction welding technology and partly using other methods such as Explosion Welding technique especially for bigger size components. This method had certain critical challenges:
India had to depend on
Russia for Explosion Welding
Explosion Welding in India
had up to 80% rejection ratio
This led to increased dependency on a foreign country, which made India vulnerable to geo-political changes. Further, the method of developing this component – bimetallic adaptors – led to increased loss of time, effort and money.
Godrej Aerospace needed a solution that would reduce these losses, mitigate risks and cut-down dependencies on other countries. We, at FWT, had been working with Godrej Aerospace on a different project using Friction Welding technology. After studying the process of component manufacturing thoroughly, we suggested critical design changes to the entire system and recommended them to adopt Friction Welding technology instead of Explosion Welding. The design changes were carefully studied by NPOM, Russia, for its reliability and effectiveness, and approved. This process could potentially reduce the rejection factor from 85% to ZERO% straight away.
It was then decided to use Friction Welding technology to develop machine that could develop small-sized as well as big-sized bimetallic adaptors through process innovation.
Quotations were called from top friction welding companies in the world as well as from FWT. All international brands recommended and quoted for two machines – 80 Ton for bigger size components, and 20 Ton for smaller size components. FWT studied carefully, every aspect of the project; its varied applications, versatility requirements, and many other parameters. FWT skinned down the irrelevant and redundant, and quoted for a single custom-built 50 Ton machine with combined capabilities of two machines. However, the industry gurus recommended that this machine ought to be at least 70 Ton. But with thorough expertise in the technology, FWT challenged the impossible, and committed to deliver components with multiple geometries across multiple sizes at high levels of quality, precision and robustness, using a single 50 Ton machine and within the given timeframe. In order to mitigate their risk, they decided to release the payment only after all the jobs were tested and approved by MSQAA (Missile System Quality Assurance Agency).
FWT applied backward engineering, incorporated newer technology, simplified user interface, fine-tuned and implemented parameterisation capability to cater to various size and geometry requirements to ensure top quality, high precision and maximum efficiency. When the system was built in a record-time, ten unique jobs were created and their weld-quality was tested across various parameters. Every component passed each and every test successfully. The company achieved a massive success when the output exceeded the expectations. The machine has now been implemented at Godrej Aerospace and the components for the new fully indigenous missiles are being manufactured in-house and have already been installed in the BrahMos articles.
- 0% rejection rate
- 100% Made in India & hence import substitute zero dependency on foreign countries
- Environmentally safe manufacturing process
- Ease of operations, State-of-the-art control panel with parameterization
- High levels of quality, safety, efficiency and reliability
- Multiple size geometries manufactured on a single machine
- Local support
- Exceeded client expectations
- Profitable to Indian Economy
Recognizing FWT’s technology expertise and focus on stringent quality procedures, the world leader in friction welding technology – MTI – have now collaborated with FWT to manufacture friction welding machines for international market under the brand name of SPARTAN – The Tiny Giant.