Boeing officially inaugurates Its Washington Additive Manufacturing Facility

““Excellence is not a gift, but a skill that takes practice. We do not act ‘rightly’ because we are excellent. We achieve excellence by acting rightly.” We embody these words, which define our culture, behavior, and pursuits at our Boeing Center of Additive Manufacturing Excellence”.

Dr. Melissa Orme, Vice President, Boeing Additive Manufacturing drew the industry’s attention on the official inauguration of Boeing Additive Manufacturing facility with these wise words from Plato. Looking back, when you realize where they are coming from, how they have evolved in their use of AM from research and development projects and low-cost tooling to printing high volumes of high-value metallic components and large families of tools, these words make perfect sense.

Being able to open an AM-dedicated facility requires to practice, to fail and try again, so many times that your errors become lessons that enable you to move forward.

Based in Auburn, Washington, the new Center of Additive Manufacturing Excellence (CoAME) will leverage AM for the design and manufacturing of tools and parts for commercial airplanes, helicopters, spacecraft, and satellites.

The new BAM fabrication center actually opened for business in January 2020, but with little fanfare, as Boeing had to postpone the opening ceremony due to the Covid-19 pandemic. “So it’s been a while since we’ve been doing this, but this is the first time we’ve had the opportunity to celebrate it,” said Susan Champlain, director of government operations for Boeing’s commercial airplanes.

With over 70,000 additively manufactured parts, Boeing is now looking ahead to the roadmap for AM workflow integration, a complex path that will require all stakeholders to enable AM to earn credibility as a viable manufacturing technology.

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