AST was contracted in-house to develop a dual spindle, high volume, automated and computer controlled drilling machine for use in the production of the propulsion system for the 40mm HV project.

The machine was designed to be capable of running 18 continuous hours per day, producing over 2000 components, totalling an effective 13 000 drilled holes, per day.  Special features added into the design to decrease running costs included a tool sharpening interval of 1200 holes per drill as well as a high-wear “violet” coating on the drill bits, leading to lower tool consumption rates as well as a power consumption of less than 1,5kW.  This in turn led to lower operating costs.