Oerlikon and Lufthansa Technik partner to integrate AM into the maintenance and repair of civil aircraft

July 11, 2018

Oerlikon and Lufthansa Technik partner on Additive Manufacturing for aircraft

Maintenance is undertaken on an Airbus A350 at Lufthansa Technik Munich (Courtesy Gregor Schläger / Lufthansa Technik AG)


Oerlikon, Pfäffikon, Switzerland, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Lufthansa Technik, Hamburg, Germany, a provider of maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) services for civil aircraft, engines and components, to establish robust and repeatable processes for Additive Manufacturing in the aircraft MRO industry.

Oerlikon stated that the agreement marks an important step toward the industrialisation of AM in the aircraft industry, enabling it to take advantage of potential flexibility and cost savings in manufacturing, procurement, warehousing and supply chain management.

Dr Roland Fischer, Oerlikon Group CEO, stated, “We are confident that Oerlikon’s extensive expertise in Additive Manufacturing and the aerospace industry, combined with our proven ability to integrate solutions throughout the manufacturing value chain on a global scale, will bring great benefits to Lufthansa Technik.”

“We look forward to strengthening our partnership with Lufthansa Technik and joining forces to develop reliable, repeatable and quality-assured Additive Manufacturing processes, standards and products for the MRO industry,” he concluded.

“Lufthansa Technik is active in areas such as the cabin of the future, 3D printing and Industry 4.0,” added Bernhard Krueger-Sprengel, Vice President, Engine Services, Lufthansa Technik. “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.”

Under the MoU, the partners stated that they will build up representative component geometrics which will be manufactured on identical AM systems at 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 AM system as more data is collected on manufacturing processes. The results of the study will reportedly be shared with relevant industry bodies to support defining standards for the qualification and approval of aircraft components.


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