Aerospace Alloys, Inc. (AAI) was incorporated in 1980 as a supplier of specialty metals to support Pratt and Whitney. AAI is AS9100, ISO 9001 & Pratt and Whitney LCS approved and holds the latest certification levels. The company started out by offering cut to size pieces with simple machining operation and expanded to meet the ever growing needs of their customers.
In 1996 Aerospace Alloys, Inc., became one of the first companies in the New England Area to offer abrasive waterjet cutting, a breakthrough new method offering the means to cut less conventional materials with ease and eliminate the heat affected zones inherent with other cutting methodologies. The waterjet side of business has grown to include seven waterjet cutting machines, including two in-house 5-axis machines.
The Aquajet Cutting Technology division was created by AAI to not only support job shop services, but to support equipment and service sales. This division is an Authorized Distributor of the systems and parts of Techni Waterjet, H2O JET and EBBCO. They quip: “The Grand Canyon was cut with water. You can’t do any better than that!”
The growth of AAI has been strong throughout the years, which necessitated their relocation to a larger facility in Bloomfield, Connecticut in 2006. They set up shop in a 30,000 square foot facility with a permit to double in size as projected growth continues. Aerospace Alloys actively continues to acquire equipment that allows them to control quality and delivery times of the products that they supply. They have been recognized four-times as a UTC Supplier Gold Company – an accomplishment to be extremely proud of.
Aerospace Alloys, Inc., has remained a family owned business since its inception, currently employing a workforce of 32 people whom they count as extended members of the family. Their owners include Christopher Allinson, Richard Allinson, Robert Allinson, and Michelle Allinson, respectively.
What They Do.
For the last 40 years, the Aerospace Alloys mission has been to recognize and adapt to the ever changing needs of manufacturers as the industry adapts to the current environment. The company is a leading alloy supplier, providing a diverse set of value-added services to manufacturers around the world.
AAI is known for their unique ability to procure hard to find materials for multiple industries such as:
- Aerospace & Defense
- Power Generation
- And much more…
Some of the raw materials they provide include:
- Stainless steel: 300, 400 Series, 15-5PH and 17-4PH
- Nickel based alloys: 200/201, 400, 600, 625, 718, X, X-750, C-276, C263
- Titanium: 6AL-4V and Commercially Pure Grades
- Aluminum: 2000, 3000, 5000, 6000, and 7000 Series
- And many more…
As Aerospace Alloys, Inc. has grown, so too has their body of offered services. Beyond simply supplying raw material they have also added lines of finished products for their ever expanding list of customer.
Some of these jobs include:
- Heat exchanger component parts
- Shims and gaskets
- Turned parts
- Turbine component parts
- And much more…
- Abrasive water jet cutting
- Wire and RAM EDM machining
- Laser part marking
- And much more…
With their unique experience in the waterjet market AAI recognized the need for a sales and services distributor within the New England area. To that end they decided to expand their services to the market of waterjet distribution. It was at that time that they created the aforementioned Aquajet Cutting Division to support the initiatives of the services rendered. AAI has become a one-stop solution for complete abrasive waterjet cutting systems, spare parts, and job shop cutting services. They represent the latest in technology from Techni Waterjet, H2O Jet, Ebbco Systems and IGEMS.
The inherent motto inhouse is “Cutting Parts Not Corners”… And when you work with them, you’ll experience every piece of that sentiment.
The company, in essence, rests at nothing to ease your burden through value added services. JIT deliveries allow clients to decrease their overall inventory levels. Kitting services enable companies to group all the needed components and enable them to feed their production lines directly. The focus on customer service and communication means that they are always available to discuss any ideas that might improve processes – which keeps retention rates high, and peace of mind in good health…
Further Special Services
AAI does have the capability of doing reverse engineering on two-dimensional parts and they do offer that as a service. They are also not afraid to approach low quantity, or low volume run parts, which is determined on a case by case basis.
Quality, Quality, Quality
From a service standpoint, AAI’s quality standards are unrivaled. It’s a point of pride for the company in making it known that they use only the highest quality alloys, which they believe is crucial to their customers success. While many metal centers are only concerned with selling high volumes, AAI focuses on providing alloys with the highest possible quality levels on the market, anywhere. They also utilize a certified internal quality clinic to decrease internal escapes and eliminate escapes to clients. These efforts are all to ensure that what you receive is top quality, every single time you work with them.
AAI has developed and implemented a quality management system in order to provide a consistent product that meets customer and applicable regulatory requirements. This system specifically addresses customer satisfaction, including continual improvement and the prevention of nonconformity. Aerospace Alloys, Inc. is committed to ensuring that their customers receive the right product when they require it.
This is achieved by:
- Dedicated quality control inspectors whom have been customer approved and are Pratt and
Whitney LCS certified.
- All incoming material is subject to an XRF (X-ray fluorescent) Analyzer. This is an additional confirmation that the material received is exactly what was ordered.
- Blueprint review and quality requirements are analyzed and verified on all jobs prior to production.
- First Article Inspections are performed and the results are reported to customers. AAI uses Laser QC inspection in concert with Programmable CMM’s (Coordinate Measuring Machines) that allow them to perform quality inspections precisely and efficiently. This system also generates SPC data for customers and internal process controls.
- Laser QC is the automated, high-speed laser inspection system for first article inspection, Statistical Process Control (SPC) and reverse engineering of 2D parts. With the compatibility of .dxf, .dwg, and .igs file formats, AAI can take complex measurements quickly, easily, and accurately.
- The UTC Certified Quality Clinic is tasked with rapidly diagnosing, investigating and eliminating the root causes of product and process non-conformances.
AAI’s UTC certified Quality Control Clinic utilizes a team of experts in order to better engage employees in the utilization of appropriate measurement equipment and facilities for the purpose of rapidly diagnosing, investigating and eliminating the root causes of product and process non-conformance.
This includes the physical quality clinic and the processes that support the total root cause investigation.
There are 7 Key Elements necessary to have a successful Quality Clinic
- People – Everyone in the company is considered an extension of the quality clinic system, but a subset of individuals is the core quality clinic team. Having trained individuals in Root Cause Analysis, Corrective Action and QCPC (Quality Clinic Process Charting) is key.
- Physical Location – Should be a dedicated area close to the value stream that is clean, quiet and bright.
- Gauging and Equipment – Should have an optical comparator, critical gauging equipment and a computer.
- Visual Management – Clearly labeled system of racks or shelves to store and track material as it is processed through the problem solving methodology
- Documented Process Flow – Should illustrate the documented process flow of customer, internal and supplier non-conforming material using flow charts or other visuals.
- Metrics – An important part of monitoring and measuring the quality clinic effectiveness.
- Management Performance Review – Management meets regularly with the core clinic team to review key business metrics. Management support is vital for Quality Clinic success.
At Aerospace Alloys the Quality Clinic system is a valuable tool in their proprietary quality improvement strategy. With this system they continually drive quality performance higher to meet or exceed client expectations.
Aerospace Alloys, Inc. is AS9100, ISO:9001, and Pratt & Whitney LCS Certified.
Fun Fact: Their specialist with the Pratt & Whitney LCS certification merit is David Bowie*!
*Not THAT David Bowie, but still a star to be sure…
As you’ve read, Aerospace Alloys, Inc. is not just a materials supplier as their name implies. They might have been at the inception, but they are so much more now – with fresh eyes always on the future.