The Growing Commercial Aircraft Turbine Engine Market

The commercial aircraft turbine engine market has shown recent exponential growth, which is poised to continue well into the future. A recent study by Technavio revealed that the market will continue to expand through 2020, with an estimated Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 5.85% over that period.

The projected increase in the market is based mostly on the expected continued rise of new aircraft needed as fleets replace older models and grow their existing fleets. New designs offer advantages over older models, helping airlines increase passenger capacity and decrease fuel usage, factors that drive buying forward. Technavio also cites strict regulations concerning noise and carbon dioxide emissions as being additional driving factors.

Another factor for the increased growth is the development and introduction of new materials. Aimed at making the blades more durable and efficient, industry leaders predict these new components will be sought to retrofit older aircraft. New engines such as the LEAP and GE9X reduce the weight of the aircraft through utilizing composites, allowing for the increase of weight elsewhere or, more often, allowing the plane to be more fuel efficient.

In addition to utilizing lighter weight materials, new designs in the HGP (hot gas path) section of the engines have increased the efficiency of the cooling of the special alloy components, contributing to overall increased engine efficiencies. The use of special heat resistant coatings and intricate cooling film designs has raised the technical requirements for the production of these parts.

At Hi-Tek Manufacturing, we have been one of the leading manufacturers serving the aviation and land-based turbine market for over 30 years. This predicted growth gives us even more hope for the upcoming years, but it also means that we will need to rise to meet the demands of the growing market. The key areas that need to be addressed are capabilities and capacity.

Capabilities relates to what we can handle, such as new materials and new designs. We plan on taking these technical changes head-on by keeping abreast of the latest technology, and making the necessary equipment and employee development changes needed to work with the most advanced materials on the market.

Capacity, on the other hand, relates to just now much we can produce. Through capital investments in new machines, along with increasing the training of our staff, we can increase our capacity to produce HPT Blades and Vanes, heat shields, fairings, and other parts. We are excited to see how the turbine blade market grows, and to see how it benefits us at Hi-Tek as well as the world of travel overall.

Hi-Tek Manufacturing, Inc. Installs New 6-Axis CNC CBN Grinding Machine

Hi-Tek Manufacturing, Inc., leader in the production of aviation and power generation hot gas path turbine engine components, have just completed the purchase and installation of a new 6-Axis CNC CBN grinder.  The grinding machine, Model 930E100, built by the Campbell Grinder Company of Spring Lake, Michigan, joins the growing list of grinders, both CBN profile and Creep Feed Continuous Dress, as Hi-Tekexpands its overall grinding capability.

New 6-Axis CNC CBN grinder

This latest acquisition boasts a thirty-six inch “X”, “Y”, and “Z” axis travel with rapid traverse speed of up to 300 inches per minute and a positional accuracy of 5-microns.  In addition the machine is built with an automatic tool changer with a capacity up to 10 grinding wheels, as well as up to 12 inch milling and drilling tools.  The “C” axis (rotary table) is 40” in diameter with a bearing capacity up to 2,000 lbs. and run out both radially and axially of 2.5 microns.  The grinding spindle is 60 HP with a driven speed up to 7,200 rpm.  Options include wheel dresser capable of utilizing roll or disk dressing tools, part probing, automatic tool and nozzle changer, CO2 fire suppression, and large, epoxy coated enclosure with interior lighting.

The new grinding machine has been installed in the newest area of the plant expansion completed in 2012.  Hi-Tek recently installed a 22,000 gallon central oil filtration system that will provide temperature controlled grinding oil at 150 psi at the grinding wheel nozzles, filtered to 5-microns or less.

“This sophisticated grinding machine is just the latest in capital expenditures required to support recent sales growth,” said Barry Nehls, Hi-Tek Manufacturing, Inc. Sales and Marketing Manager. “Over the next three to five years we anticipate doubling our current grinding capacity in both CBN profile and creep feed grinding. This grinding machine is well suited for the large nozzles and blades required for the newer generation gas turbine engines,” he added.

Hi-Tek Manufacturing, Inc. has been serving the aviation and land based power generation OEM marketplace for over 36 years and is located in Mason, Ohio.