A new Joint Technology Development Partnership between Sweden’s Arcam AB and GKN Aerospace, UK, will see close collaboration between the two companies to fully industrialise Additive Manufacturing technology for aerospace applications.
Arcam uses Electron Beam Melting (EBM) technology in its Additive Manufacturing (AM) systems. “We have been working with Arcam for some time exploring what we believe to be one of the most promising of the additive processes,” stated Russ Dunn, Senior Vice President Engineering & Technology, GKN Aerospace.
“Our aim has been to fully understand how EBM can be applied to our future aero structures and aero engines portfolio. Through this new strategic partnership with Arcam our combined Additive Manufacturing teams will now take the next steps towards fully industrialising this AM technology.”
The agreement forms part of the GKN group’s major AM research and development initiative. Within the GKN Aerospace business four dedicated global AM development centres have been established in North America and Europe, each clearly focused on progressing specific additive processes and technologies.
“We believe the array of processes that fall under the ‘additive’ umbrella will revolutionise manufacturing across every industrial sector – particularly in aerospace where cost, weight and performance are critical. Drawing on GKN Powder Metallurgy’s experience and our own extensive aerospace expertise we aim to develop a roadmap that will industrialise Additive Manufacturing for this sector,” added Dunn.
GKN Aerospace also placed an order for two Arcam Q20 EBM systems to be installed at GKN Aerospace’s Bristol, UK Additive Manufacturing (AM) centre. The Arcam Q20 provides a build envelope of 350×380 mm and is suited to manufacturing of a wide range of aerospace related components such as turbine blades and structural airframe components.
“Arcam’s strategy is to establish our technology for production of orthopaedic implants and aerospace parts, two areas with high requirements on material properties and productivity,” stated Magnus René, CEO, Arcam.
“Our EBM technology is today well established in the orthopaedic industry, with thousands of components produced and implanted. We are now very happy to announce this order and important partnership with GKN Aerospace. We are convinced that the close collaboration with GKN Aerospace will be key for further industrialisation of our EBM technology in the aerospace industry,” added René.
GKN Aerospace and ARCAM engineers plan to work together to create the next generation of EBM equipment able to manufacture complex titanium structures at the high volumes required to meet future demand.
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