Technology and engineering group Oerlikon (Pfäffikon Schwyz, Switzerland) and Lufthansa Technik (Hamburg, Germany), a provider of maintenance, repair, and overhaul services for civil aircraft, engines, and components, signed a Memorandum of Understanding July 11 to establish robust and repeatable processes for additive manufacturing in the aircraft MRO industry. The partnership is an important step toward the industrialization of additive manufacturing in the aircraft MRO industry and aims to take advantage of the potential flexibility and cost savings in manufacturing, procurement, warehousing, and supply chain management.
Oerlikon AM and Lufthansa Technik 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.
The collaboration between Oerlikon AM and Lufthansa Technik will help drive the industrialization of additive manufacturing as the study results will be shared with relevant industry bodies to support defining standards for the qualification and approval of aircraft components.
“We look forward to strengthening our partnership with Lufthansa Technik and working with them to develop reliable, repeatable, and quality-assured additive manufacturing processes, standards, and products for the MRO industry,” said Dr. Roland Fischer, CEO, Oerlikon Group.
Bernhard Krueger-Sprengel, vice president of engine services at Lufthansa Technik, added: “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.”