Oerlikon and Lufthansa Technik have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in order to implement standards for additive manufacturing in the aircraft MRO industry. MRO refers to services related to maintenance, repair and overhaul for civil aircraft.

The aim of this collaboration is to exploit flexibility and cost savings in manufacturing, procurement, warehousing and supply chain management.

Images via Lufthansa-Technik

Oerlikon has clearly a certain expertise in providing additive manufacturing solutions in the aerospace industry. Among its partners, one can also mention Boeing. Both companies are developing standard materials and processes for metal-based additive manufacturing. They will industrialize titanium powder bed fusion additive manufacturing; their aim being to ensure that parts made with this technique address the requirements of the Federal Aviation Administration and Department of Defense.

The provider of 3D printing solutions is therefore confident about this partnership with Lufthansa Technik. As for the latter, it should be noted, that working with Oerlikon does not constitute its first experience in the AM area. The company 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. This collaboration is a way to accelerate Lufthansa Technik’s plan of having local AM repair capabilities on a global scale.

For now, the two companies will build up representative component geometrics. The components will be printed on identical printers in three global 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 partnership is for a one-year period and may be extended to other models of printers as more data on manufacturing processes is collected.


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