Advanced Machine Works

Next Generation Flexible Tooling System – SAE Publication

Next Generation Flexible Tooling System – SAE Publication

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Our technical paper, “Next Generation Flexible Tooling System” will be published by SAE International on March 19th. The paper was written by Larry Kirby and Ronald Weddle. SAE Technical Papers are peer-reviewed and judged against six criteria by experts in the automotive, aerospace, and commercial vehicle industries.
We will be presenting our this paper at the upcoming 2019 Aerotech Americas conference on Wednesday, 3/27 at 9:00am in Ballroom 2. Learn more about our involvement here.


Flexible Tooling Systems have been developed as a reconfigurable part support system to enable trimming of multiple part geometries utilizing a single router or waterjet. The driver for this development has been improved part quality, elimination of ergonomic issues associated with manually trimming, and elimination of cost for individual part hard trimming tools along with its associated cost for their manufacture, maintenance, and storage. This paper will briefly trace the evolution of aerospace parts trimming history. The remainder of the report will focus on the technical objective associated the development of the Next Generation Flexible Tooling System, how they were achieved including the process for validation of each support location in aircraft coordinates. This system is designed to increase part holding accuracy with specific support location validation, and significantly reduce system maintenance costs in wet or dry environments.

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