Posted on: 12 July 2018
Oerlikon and Lufthansa Technik are to jointly establish replicable additive manufacturing (AM) processes and standards for maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) applications in the aviation sector.
The objective, they say, is to guarantee robust and repeatable processes on multiple machines in multiple locations. The companies have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) establishing the partnership, which they describe as “an important step toward the industrialisation of AM in the aircraft MRO industry and aims to take advantage of potential flexibility and cost savings in manufacturing, procurement, warehousing and supply chain management.”
“Lufthansa Technik is active in areas such as the cabin of the future, 3D printing and Industry 4.0,” said Bernhard Krueger-Sprengel, vice-president, Engine services at Lufthansa Technik. “We see the partnership with Oerlikon’s AM team as an exciting opportunity to accelerate Lufthansa Technik’s plan of having local AM repair capabilities on a global scale.”
The companies will build up representative component geometrics, with the components to be produced on identical printers in three locations: Oerlikon AM Charlotte (North Carolina, USA), Oerlikon AM Barleben (Germany) and Lufthansa Technik in Hamburg, Germany. The same process parameters and powder specifications will be used to understand process repeatability. The additive partnership is for one year initially and may be extended to other models of printers as more data on manufacturing processes is collected.
Study results will be shared with relevant industry bodies to support defining standards for the qualification and approval of aircraft components.