Over the years, the aerospace industry has leveraged additive manufacturing to alleviate supply chain constraints, limit warehouse space, and reduce wasted materials from traditional manufacturing processes such as casting. The ability to rapidly produce parts as well as improve consistency of production has made this technology a major consideration alternative.
AERONAMIC’s major customers are making leaps forward in developing processes and products for AM. The technology is at the verge of a breakthrough and customers are considering their supply chain strategy: will they go away from the existing supply chain and make use of (internal) 3D printing service providers and additionally manage all suppliers providing post-processing processes or will they make use of existing, qualified aerospace suppliers with AM capabilities integrated. Clearly, the latter option is preferred and provides new business opportunities, but is only viable in case AERONAMIC develops and demonstrates AM capabilities integrated with currently existing manufacturing processes.
AERONAMIC ’s choice of Fraunhofer Project Center at the University of Twente (FPC@UT) as a technology partner in the project, with the aim to have access to the Fraunhofer network of knowledge in the development of processes in AM.
FPC@UT was engaged to further develop the process for product optimization to gain cost efficiencies without compromising quality.
The work performed at the Fraunhofer Project Center @ UT helped us to set up a structured way of performing experiments and analyzing results to optimize the Additive Manufacturing Process. Also, their scientific way of looking at things gave the project the angle it needed.