Aerospace

Overview

The Aerospace industry is growing to meet the worldwide growth of the global economies and new middle class . Airlines now project that they will need 35,000 new airplanes and sets of engines to meet the demands for passenger travel. New military programs also require more engine development and testing. General Tool will continue to be an important provider of “First Articles” and production hardware, as we have over our 72 year history.

Engine Test Hardware

General Tool has been an important industry player since 1947, when our neighboring GE factory began to manufacture turbine engines. Today, we continue to provide new hardware systems for the Leap, 9 X platforms and new engine development for the commercial and military market sectors. Many of these first articles are fabricated, machined and assembled here and then sent to the Peebles OH test facility where they hold engines during the grueling engine testing, Stainless and inconel materials require special welding skills which our certified welders posses and remain current on. Critical Welds are X Rayed and given other NDT tests to certify that they meet the aerospace quality requirements. 

Split Cases, Rings and Shafts

Inconel and Titanium Split Cases, Rings and Engine Shafts are parts typically running through our factory every month. These parts cross many of our work centers, especially the dozen 5 axis machines of various configurations that we use. The parts are made from forgings and are turned on one our dozen VTL’s, machined, split, bolted back together and finished. Many of the ring type parts can be done in one or two handlings on our multi-process machines that have capabilities to do milling and turning in one setup. This saves time and reduces the risk for setup errors if they have to go across multiple work centers. These parts must meet the highest quality levels of the AS 9100 specification. 

Rig Hardware

We have high speed, high torque and horsepower machines for small to large envelope parts made from all high temperature alloys. Five axis programming in Siemens NX is required to make airfoil shapes like these. Carbon Fiber Reinforced Plastic structures is also a core competency of General Tool. We have made a variety of ducts, fans and other structures from these materials for over 20 years using proprietary tooling and processes. Most of these parts are prototypes that are designed and redesigned as we are making them. Our customer’s engineers meet with our ME’s to discuss “Design for Manufacturability” to get the part cost to a reasonable level by making the tolerances more practical to make 

Space Hardware

Space Hardware for rockets, missiles, satellites have been made at GTC since the Shuttle Program in the 1990’s. We have designed, built and installed our Accu-Stir machines (TM) for FSW (Friction Stir Welding) many of these components. Our FSW Machines use our patented processes to perform welding on Fuel Tanks for the NASA Space Shuttle and recently for SpaceX launch vehicles. Having a variety of Vertical Lathes and Five axis machines fit this work very well. 

Aerospace work requires the highest level of technical competence and is a focus for all levels of our organization. Aerospace hardware is one of our core competencies.