Trinity Precision’s Growth Through Technology

February 18, 2020
Aerospace Engineering The Cost of A Misidentified Part Makino Elevate

To Elevate Our Workforce

Since our founding in 2014, Trinity Precision has experienced considerable growth. From nearly quadrupling our sales to substantially increasing our production, we’ve improved in a myriad of ways. Our success can be attributed to the hard work of the Trinity family. But our adherence to utilizing cutting-edge technology that elevates our workforce has played a major role as well. Here are three examples of ways we’ve embraced technology to improve and grow our business.

Wichita Aerospace Parts Manufacturer Technology And Process

Vision System

Because we manufacture parts for different customers that look similar or even identical, our Planning and Quality teams identified part inspection as a process in need of an overhaul. Dedicated parts inspectors used hand-held equipment to visually evaluate each part, a process with a high potential for error.

To mitigate the risk of misidentification, we partnered with Akeratos LLC to create an automated solution that drastically reduced the potential for human error in the parts identification process. We developed a Vision system that uses a camera and computer software to inspect and identify each part. Parts are programmed in the Vision system to identify key features that make each part unique. Programming the parts in our Vision system begins by capturing a clear picture of each part, which takes into consideration the best possible orientation and lighting conditions. 

Once the picture is taken, the software is programmed to recognize unique features that allow the differentiation of part configurations.  These unique features can include area widths, hole locations, hole sizes, or other features. After the program is written, parts are tested using the software to determine if the unique features on the part match what the software knows is a good part. The operator receives a “GOOD” or “BAD” indication from the machine, which quickly tells the operator if the part is the correct configuration.

Aerospace Engineering The Cost Of A Misidentified Part Robotic Cell

Robotic Cell

To improve productivity, we partnered with Akeratos LLC to research robotic solutions and find which option would best meet our needs. Ultimately, we decided to integrate a collaborative robot with one of our CNC machines to create a robotic cell.

After extensive analysis, we determined the UR10e collaborative robot best fit our specific needs. It includes a 22-lb. payload capacity, which we believe will meet our current needs. Additionally, the robot has a force-sensing capability on its end effector, which allows our operators to work within the robot’s area of operation. We have also included four individually active vises inside the CNC machine, allowing us to run up to four different jobs consecutively. It utilizes a vision guidance system to enable the robot to precisely grip each part.

The robotic cell we built allows for true collaboration between employees and the robot. Our operator will input the job number, part numbers, and quantity of each job as well as specifying which job will run on each vise in the CNC machine. Once the robot receives all this data, the operator will stage the raw material on the table in an organized layout as determined by the work instructions.

Once the machining program starts, the vision system will reference the specified program and guide the robot to grip the material and move it to the specified vise. The robot will then exit and trigger a program in the CNC machine which secures the door and runs the machining program for the specified part. While the CNC machining is being performed, the robot picks another piece of raw material with the second gripper. After the machining is done, the machine will signal the robot to perform the next operation. The robot will then move inside the CNC machine, pick up the finished part with the first gripper, and place the new material into the vise from the second gripper. Thus, the cycle runs repeatedly until the job is complete.

Aerospace Engineering The Cost Of A Misidentified Part Makino


Our most recent technological addition, a five-axis horizontal machining center called the Makino MAG1, has minimized both the process variables related to part production and the number of setups we need to perform. The MAG1 is specifically designed for high-productivity machining of complex aluminum aerospace parts. It integrates speed and power of the spindle with a machine platform that provides rapid precision-contouring capability while maximizing the percentage of the total time the spindle is cutting.

By adding the MAG1, we more than doubled the size of the parts we could produce from our existing Makino cell, the A61. After we complete the construction of our new building, we plan to start the installation of a MAG1 cell system. The cell system gives us the ability to manufacture, palletize, and store parts on one machine. Having a cell MAG1 configured that way will allow us to run parts through the entire process after-hours and over the weekend unattended.

As Trinity continues to grow, our commitment to implementing technology to improve efficiency and elevate the talents of our employees will remain steadfast. Our belief in the power of our People will never waver as we continue to employ proven Processes, rooted in Principles that optimize our ability to provide excellent products and trustworthy services.

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