Despite a difficult couple of years for the civil aerospace industry, Gardner Aerospace continues to be an industry leader and one of the largest international manufacturers of metallic aerospace detailed parts, making continued new investments in its capabilities.

As part of these investments one of Gardner’s largest sites, Consett in County Durham, UK, which is a large manufacturing facility capable of advanced long bed machining services (up to 30m) and protective treatments (up to 18m), is having a new Modig Rigimill machine installed over the next few months. This will be the second one of its kind at the facility.

Consett’s long-bed machining center of excellence utilises state of the art equipment to manufacture some of the largest structural aircraft parts required and has capacity for full commercial airline wing components. The Consett site is also capable of handling volume production parts and AOG requirements, including complete manufacture of unique stringers, spar straps and brackets as well as repairs (eg after mid-air engine failure causing wing damage). The site is also seeking to branch out into supporting special projects such as blade repairs for wind turbines.

The new Modig Rigimill is a state-of-the-art vertical machining centre developed to produce the fastest rate of chip-removal of aluminium in the world. The parts predominantly made on the Modig are ‘stringers’ which are up to 22M in length and fitted inside the wings of an aircraft. The Modig Rigimill not only reduces the cycle time up to 40-70% but reduces waste material, making production not only more efficient, but more sustainable.

Gardner Aerospace is excited to see how this expansion of Consett’s site capabilities can be used to increase our range of products, shorten supply chains globally and enable diversification into new sectors. As Gardner looks to new horizons, there are plans to expand long bed capabilities further afield with a new Modig installation at our new site in Chengdu, China, scheduled for production by early next year.

This latest technology machining investment is helping progress Gardner further towards its digitisation, automation, sustainability, and other industry 4.0 goals.