What the customer needed?
DRS Technologies is a leading supplier of integrated products, services and support to military forces, intelligence agencies and prime contractors worldwide.
The current Layers Display and Control Unit (LDCU) of the UK’s L118 Light Gun was to be upgraded an DRS won the bid The LDCU is the main man-machine interface of the navigation, pointing and weapon management system of the gun.
A single-box solution was desired to minimize hardware and the unit was to function in all weather conditions, day and night. Key features include a touchsensitive display and an interface with a full range of additional sensors and equipment.
Mr. Benny Albrektsen, Technology and Product Manager, Mekoprint A/S
Which solution was chosen?
The first versions were made in stainless steel as ordered by DRS, but Mekoprint’s design team soon realized that process time and final quality could be improved if duraluminum, an alloy of aluminum with copper, magnesium and manganese could be used.
Duraluminium is extremely lightness and widely used in the aircraft industry, but has practically the same properties as stainless steel. Although duraluminum is more costly, process time was lowered to such an extent that the final total cost was reduced compared to production in stainless steel.
The production processes include milling, chromate conversion coating and the final surface treatment with anti-infrared paint.
What were the benefits?
“To us cooperation with Mekoprints entails 100% open dialog in the last part of our design process where our designers benefit from Mekoprint’s knowledge about optimal production.
Each tiny redesign eliminating costs or the weight of the product counts and we have a beneficiary, open and on-going dialogue with Mekoprint’s technical designer.
Mekoprint is a sole supplier of the metalwork of the unit which is praised for its unique single-box design. We have high hopes and expect an increase in demand for this product which is already sold to customers in the UK, Canada, Thailand and Malaysia”.
Mr. Robert McNeill, Senior Buyer
DRS Technologies UK Ltd.