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  • Writer's pictureSkykraft

Wodonga leads the way in machining and fabrication of satellite parts

A CAD drawing is where design starts, but doesn't end. The design and manufacture of prototypes, and then being able to deliver production items requires careful planning.

The team at Ironbox Engineering, located in the Albury Wodonga region, worked in conjunction with Skykraft to deliver complex parts manufacture for their satellites. This includes machining of chassis, attitude control and hold down release mechanism components.

Roger Dudziak, Block II Mission Manager at Skykraft, commented, "Skykraft works closely with Ironbox for machined parts as they have a track record of reliably delivering high-quality components. They also provide valuable input to designs to improve efficiency of manufacture. This is important to support Skykraft's ethos of rapid iteration and design development cycles."

Using advanced manufacturing technology, Ironbox Engineering produces a wide variety of engineered components known as machined parts, creating products or structures by cutting, bending, and assembling raw metal material.

Pictured top: Machined components manufactured by Ironbox for bespoke drive mechanisms

Pictured bottom: One of several vibration adaptors manufactured by Ironbox to facilitate qualification of Skykraft spacecraft.

Bart Oates, Operations Manager at Ironbox Engineering, commented, "Being given the opportunity to expand into new industries, such as aerospace always brings excitement, enjoyable challenges and presents our team with the opportunity to collaborate to develop creative solutions for complex parts. We are very appreciative to have been given the opportunity to expand into the exciting industry that is Australian Aerospace and to be able to fulfill aerospace manufacturing needs now and in the future."

The process

Ironbox Engineering used state of the art CNC mills and lathes to manufacture and fabricate mechanical parts and components for Skykraft.

Through close consultation between Skykraft’s engineers and their own engineering and manufacturing teams, Ironbox Engineering were able to produce purpose manufactured jigs and tooling to fulfil the manufacturing requirements and specifications of prototype and production parts for the project.

Ironbox Engineering's in-house machinists have the experience and knowledge to produce mechanical parts of high accuracy and quality to produce the external chassis components, reaction wheels and mechanisms.

"The whole experience from the first point of contact with Skykraft to design review and the completion of parts manufacture has been both exciting and inspiring. It has been a privilege for Ironbox Engineering to participate in and learn from Skykraft’s forward thinking ideas and creative solutions from prototype to full scale manufacture. We can’t wait to see how their products perform and are excited to continue to be part of an evolving company servicing such an exciting industry within aerospace manufacturing," said Mr Oates.

About Ironbox Engineering

Ironbox Engineering has been serving business and industry for over 20 years and has evolved to deliver a range of high-quality engineering and manufacturing services using state of the art CAD/CAM programming, advanced CNC milling and turning technologies, along with experienced machinists and engineering design personnel.

Ironbox Engineering is a privately-owned family business which currently employs eleven permanent staff with a head office in Chiltern Victoria, and workshop currently located in Wodonga Victoria. Ironbox Engineering has undergone significant growth over the past 6 years, which will see them relocate to a brand-new purpose-built facility in another Albury Wodonga community of Thurgoona NSW beginning early 2023.

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