Boeing Co and Northrop Grumman have announced they will join the White House-backed compact to help smaller US-based suppliers increase the use of Additive Manufacturing and other advanced manufacturing technologies. The voluntary programme AM Forward seeks to boost suppliers’ use of Additive Manufacturing technology to bolster US manufacturing and create jobs.
“The supply chain crisis isn’t just about building out ports. It’s about building up parts – right here in America’s small business factories,” stated Neal Orringer, CEO, ASTRO America, AM Forward’s organiser.
Boeing and Northrop Grumman have said they will purchase additively manufactured parts from smaller US suppliers; train supplier workers on new additive technologies; provide technical assistance; and engage in standards development and certification. The manufacturers both aim to increase the number of small- and medium-sized suppliers competing over quote packages for products using Additive Manufacturing. Boeing will also aim to increase its qualified small and medium supplier capacity by 30% and provide technical guidance to meet qualification requirements.
“We know the competitiveness of the US industrial base, including Boeing, relies on the capability of a wide spectrum of suppliers producing and post-processing critical aerospace parts,” added Melissa Orme, Boeing’s VP – Additive Manufacturing.
Boeing and Northrop Grumman join GE Aviation, Siemens Energy, Raytheon Technologies, Honeywell and Lockheed Martin in the AM Forward programme. A Biden administration official told Reuters that the programme could extend to the automotive and/or semi-conductor sectors.