519-271-2835 johndw@llmt.com

Developing Custom Defense and Aerospace Tooling for Manufacturing Companies

September 2, 2022
By: John Window
Aerospace Tooling

With a rising demand for new-generation, lightweight, and fuel-efficient aircrafts, plus a growth in satellite and military hardware development, the market growth for the aerospace / defense industry is expected to rise over the next forecast period. The global aerospace parts manufacturing market was estimated at 851.8 billion USD in 2021 and is on track to reach a compound annual growth rate of 4% from 2020 to 2030. In 2020, the Canadian aerospace industry contributed to over $22 billion in GDP and close to 207,000 jobs to our economy. Aerospace and defense manufacturers are now targeting customers with customizable defense and aerospace tooling requirements to sustain themselves in the market.

Accounting for a significant portion of foreign trade and employing thousands in its workforce, the aerospace manufacturing industry is essential to Canada’s economy. The aerospace and defense manufacturing industries support the research, development, and maintenance of aircraft, spacecraft, and satellites. Typical aerospace/ defense equipment includes aircaraft components, spacecraft, and ground based military vehicles. Canada is home to leading aviation, space and defense companies and is a world leader in producing avionics, aircraft engines, landing gear, space systems, and a vast array of military vehicles and supporting hardware.

Little Lakes Machine & Tool Co. (LLMT) maintains a successful high precision custom machine shop

The Aerospace industry and its parts manufacturers are one of the most regulated in the world. Aerospace manufacturers must adhere to and be certified in AS9100D based on ISO 9001:2015: Quality management system for aviation, space, defense, and military organizations.

AS9100D is a widely adopted quality management system for the aviation industry that LLMT complies with when making parts for aviation and defense manufacturing companies. The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) certifies that our procedures, systems, and documentation meet international quality and consistency standards. LLMT takes the necessary steps to meet these requirements and audit and improve the quality of our products and services to meet our customers’ satisfaction.

As members of the Aerospace Industry Association of Canada (AIAC), LLMT is provided with resources and partnerships to innovate and deliver the best-in-class capabilities in the civil, defense and space sectors.

How LLMT supports customers in Aerospace and Defense manufacturing

LLMT accurately produces custom and complex parts to the designs provided by our customers. We make a variety of components including satellite horns and waveguide to test fixtures and gauges. We do this by providing a range of capabilities and machines from Makino, Okuma, Fanuc and others.

  1. Grinding: Our machines from Haas (Germany) and Studer offer flexible grinding centers that provide capabilities on a multi-axis machining platform. Parts are processed with a minimum number of setups, resulting in minimum tolerance stack-ups and maximum accuracy.
  2. EDM (Sink and Wire): The Sinker EDM process uses shaped electrodes in a submerged bath of dielectric fluid to machine conductive materials. The Wire EDM uses a continuous wire electrode to machine conductive materials. The machine moves the wire through the workpiece, cutting a narrow kerf through that part. Makino’s EDM machines are of superior quality and improved cutting performance. Their precision capabilities help us create complex and precisely shaped features in a variety of materials while working to very tight tolerances.
  3. Hard Milling and Turning: We use hard milling and turning for tight tolerance and intricate parts where the features being machined lend themselves to this process. Very fine face details on tools or parts on materials that are Rc60 or greater can be machined in this manner. Sometimes a combination of hard milling/ turning and EDM are utilized through a part’s manufacturing process depending on the geometry and tolerance requirements.

LLMT delivers custom-built components and highly complex tools and fixtures to support the successful operations of customers in the aerospace and defense industry. With a multitude of capabilities, a highly skilled team, and a state-of-the-art QA department, we strive to produce highly accurate solutions at the lowest possible cost while adhering to industry standards for our customers. To learn more about our aerospace tooling capabilities or to discuss how we can help you with your next project, Contact us at:

Little Lakes Machine &Tool Co.
John D. Window
(519) 271-2835 Ext 240