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Lockheed Martin Recognizes Carl Zeiss For Succesful Completion Of Large Volume Gantry System Project


Carl Zeiss was recently recognized by Lockheed Martin for the successful completion of the large volume MMZ-B Plus gantry coordinate measuring machine (CMM) project.

During the official ribbon cutting ceremony that was held at the Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company in Ft. Worth, Texas, Carl Zeiss and other suppliers that contributed to this project were recognized by Lockheed Martin officials Bob Fiorentini, Vice President F-35 Global Production and Larry Pike, Vice President of Quality. The ceremony marked the completion of the installation project of the largest gantry CMM that Carl Zeiss ever built. For Lockheed Martin it signified the completion of a measurement facility optimized for F-35 composite parts achieved by application of lean manufacturing practices. The F-35 Lightning II is a super-sonic stealth fighter designed to replace a wide range of existing aircraft worldwide.

In 2006, Lockheed Martin selected Carl Zeiss as supplier of a gantry CMM that would be capable to measure sub assemblies of the F-35 wings. In addition, Carl Zeiss was assigned responsibility for the overall project management that included a pallet shuttle transportation system from DST & MSB, an enclosure from Western Environmental Corporation and installation services provided by Industrie-Team Service GmbH.

For the project, Carl Zeiss developed the MMZ B Plus gantry CMM with a measuring range of 5 x 16 x 2.5 meters. At a length of 16 meters, the MMZ B Plus is able to accommodate and measure the wing skins of the F-35 with highest accuracy and is also suited for the measurement of aerodynamic tools, wind tunnel models, 1:1 modules and other elements of the airframe.

“This machine will allow us to measure the process itself and permit the transfer from individual part checking to process validation,” said Larry Pike, Vice President of Quality. “We appreciate the privilege and honor to partner with Lockheed Martin on this project, “said Greg Lee, President and CEO of Carl Zeiss IMT. Mr. Lee also recognized the contributions from both, the Lockheed Martin and Carl Zeiss teams, particularly the commitment and dedication that led to the success of this technically challenging project.

Bob Fiorentini, Vice President, F-35 Global Production, extended his congratulations to all members of the project team. He emphasized the significance of this project: “Many of the parts measured by the MMZ B Plus are critical to the assembly process and will play a very important role in fine tuning the composite part manufacture for the F-35 production line. The F-35 production system is based on a strategy of lean manufacturing where elimination of waste and optimizing resources are key. This type of installation supports the fundamental concepts of lean manufacturing by integrating machine and measurement process. It is the first installation of this kind and magnitude in any of our facilities and for us, the beginning of a new era in optimized parts inspection. Carl Zeiss has built a complete system solution.”

Lockheed Martin has been using ZEISS CMMs for the past ten years. In 1998 Carl Zeiss provided another division of Lockheed Martin with a metrology solution for a very difficult application that was thought to be impossible to solve. The CMM is still running today and is producing parts for the global market.


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