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WFL milling machines for manufacturing high precison aerospace components
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Case Study

WFL milling machines for manufacturing high precison aerospace components


In the aerospace industry, precision, reliability, and quality are non-negotiable. ArianeGroup Vernon, a leader in space transportation, understands this better than most. For over 20 years, they have been at the forefront of developing and manufacturing liquid hydrogen propulsion systems, which are integral to the success of launch vehicles. Central to their manufacturing process are the WFL Millturn machines, known for their high precision, rigidity, and exceptional customer service. This case study explores how WFL machines have enabled ArianeGroup Vernon to meet their stringent production requirements, maintain impeccable quality, and stay ahead in an industry where there is no room for error. 

About ArianeGroup Vernon: ArianeGroup Vernon works for its institutional and commercial customers and Europe’s strategic independence located in France. They design and create innovative and competitive launch systems, offering civil and military space solutions for institutional, commercial, and industrial customers. They are an expert in leading-edge technologies, from all aspects of complete propulsion systems right down to individual items of equipment and materials. Leveraging the unique expertise of their teams, they provide high-value-added products, equipment, and services across the space, defence, energy, and other industrial sectors. 

Their activities cover the entire life-cycle of a launcher: design, development, production, operation, and commercial service, the latter through their subsidiary Arianespace. They build and operate Ariane 5, the most reliable launcher on the commercial market today, and are developing the next-generation Ariane 6 launcher, for which they are the design authority. More about ArianeGroup Vernon 


ArianeGroup Vernon has faced the critical challenge of manufacturing high-precision components for complex liquid hydrogen propulsion systems. With the increasing technical requirements and rising demand for launch vehicles, maintaining stringent quality standards and ensuring no scrap during production has been paramount. The necessity to produce key components with absolute precision and reliability is crucial, as these parts are subject to significant stress during use. They needed machinery that could consistently deliver high accuracy, rigidity, and the ability to respect tight tolerances while facilitating seamless production and process standardisation across their operations.


For over 20 years, ArianeGroup Vernon has relied on WFL Millturn machines to meet their demanding production needs. WFL Multifunction Turning and Milling Centers, renowned for their high precision and rigidity, have become integral to ArianeGroup’s manufacturing process. The Vernon site utilises six WFL machines: four M60 MILLTURN and two M35 MILLTURN, specifically for machining key components. These machines are pivotal in producing high-value, rotating engine parts critical for the propulsion systems of launch vehicles. 

The WFL machines’ ability to maintain precise tolerances has ensured the production of quality components with minimal rejects. This reliability is complemented by WFL’s exceptional customer service and after-sales support, which have fostered a strong, trust-based relationship with ArianeGroup. 


Dominique Delor, Head of Industrial Maintenance and a key figure at ArianeGroup Vernon highlights the machines’ importance:  

“Machines from WFL are particularly crucial for us as we use them to manufacture high-value parts. The precision and rigidity of these machines are essential for machining hard materials and ensuring process standardisation. The consistent performance of the WFL machines has led to time savings and operational efficiency, allowing all operators to work efficiently on these machines.” 

ArianeGroup’s satisfaction with WFL machines has grown over the years, reinforced by the competent and rapid after-sales service provided by WFL. This support is vital as the M60 machines operate in three shifts, producing complex parts that must adhere to strict quality and delivery deadlines. The prompt availability of spare parts and the efficiency of the after-sales service have been crucial in maintaining uninterrupted production.  

Results and future plans 

ArianeGroup Vernon produces a substantial number of parts annually, with zero tolerance for rejects. The precision and reliability of WFL machines ensure that each component meets the exact specifications required. Looking ahead, they plan to enhance production efficiency further by implementing automated control of tolerances, leveraging machine data for predictive maintenance, and improving production monitoring through digitisation. 

The successful partnership with WFL has also influenced other ArianeGroup Vernon sites, such as Ottobrunn in Germany, where the adoption of an M80 machine led to significant reductions in production time. As technical demands continue to rise, ArianeGroup Vernon is confident that WFL’s advanced machinery and robust support will help them meet future challenges and continue to produce high-quality aerospace components efficiently. 

Do you find yourself steering through the critical aerospace sector, where accuracy is essential?

Tap into our WFL expertise and propel your projects to new heights. Contact our WFL experts now and find out how we can assist you in attaining perfect performance in the toughest conditions.


WFL Millturn Brochure

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