Bird Ingestion Test Separation Membrane
MACH 21 was tasked with designing a procedure and accompanying tooling to manufacture Mylar bird ingestion test separation membranes. The membranes are used to seal the chamber of an air cannon used in bird ingestion testing of GE Aviation aircraft engines at the WestCaRD Testing and Research Development Center. Currently, the membranes are being ordered from USA and suffer from inconsistency in manufacturing and large lead times. The membranes consist of two layers of Mylar film with heating wires and appropriate copper connections in between. The overall manufacturing process consists of four processes spread over three mechanical implements. The four processes are Mylar cutting, Mylar hole punching, wire processing and final assembly. The Mylar cutting machine consists of a linearly sliding utility blade to cut the Mylar to length, and a different utility blade that revolves on a circular track with a clamp to hold down the Mylar. The hole-punching machine consists of a manually operated punch and die system with a rotating disk assembly to locate the holes. The wire processing and overall assembly process tooling were integrated into a single machine to save time in operation and space in storage. The wire bending and assembly plate consists of molds and a track along which a guide slides in order to deform the wire to the correct shape. The plate also includes a jig used to align the Mylar and wire assembly during assembly. The entire manufacturing system fits on a 6 x 3 foot table and a membrane can be manufactured in under 15 minutes. In the first year, the new manufacturing process is estimated to save approximately $50 and weeks of lead time over the previous system of purchasing the membranes. In the second year and years after, the manufacturing process is estimated to save upwards of $2500 per year. The cost to manufacture the tooling will be approximately $2700.