Lockheed Martin, headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland, USA, has been named as the first organisation to be certified to UL 3400, a set of safety guidelines addressing hazards associated with Additive Manufacturing facilities, by global safety science company UL. The certification was issued to Lockheed Martin’s Additive Design and Manufacturing Center (ADMC) in Sunnyvale, California, USA.
UL published UL 3400, ‘Outline of Investigation for Additive Manufacturing Facility Safety Management’, in 2017. Balu V Nair, UL’s AM Lead Development Engineer, stated, “Employers, employees, local regulators as well as insurance companies who have to underwrite Additive Manufacturing facilities, were not fully aware of the inherent material and technology risks.”
“Safety is designed rather than built,” he continued. “Not a single standard or statutory guideline was available that specifically focused on AM. Other standards and guidelines were developed for conventional manufacturing processes. We decided to address this industry need by developing a set of guidelines with exclusive focus on additive manufacturing.”
UL 3400 takes into consideration three ‘layers’ of safety: material, equipment and the facility as a whole. The guideline references applicable standards from the US’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the National Fire Protection Association, UL and ASTM International, among others. The guideline was created with the global market in mind and covers the potential hazards and risk mitigation measures required for the safe functioning of the facility.
Lockheed Martin’s 6,775m2 ADMC is said to be unique among the company’s additive facilities. Focused on space applications, it aims to bridge the gap between materials research and the manufacturing floor to enable engineers can design and produce superior satellite parts faster and at lower cost.
Thomas Malko, Vice President of Engineering & Technology at Lockheed Martin Space, stated, “Lockheed Martin built the first 3D printed parts bound for deep space on the Juno spacecraft and we’ve been at the forefront of Additive Manufacturing ever since. This facility builds on our sixty years of Silicon Valley research and decades of satellite manufacturing expertise, so we can launch lighter, more affordable products faster.”
“Lockheed Martin’s ultimate goal is to build satellites in half the time and cost, and this facility will accelerate that capability for our customers,” he continued. “Now with UL certification, we can move forward with confidence, both within the company and with our customers, showing we are paving the way for the factory of the future.”