TWI Ltd reports that its TWI Technology Centre, located in Rotherham, South Yorkshire, UK, has become the first Additive Manufacturing facility in the UK to secure a signed facility qualification from Lloyds Register (LR) for the production of stainless steel 316L components on its EOS M290 Laser Powder Bed Fusion (L-PBF) machine.
According to the company, the site was awarded facility qualification from LR following an extensive independent audi covering the entire end-to-end process including design, materials, manufacture, post-processing and inspection.
Paul Goodwin, PPL and PBF Lead at TWI, stated, “L-PBF is increasingly being used in industry, but its uptake has been hindered by a lack of understanding of the process, particularly in terms of controlling the quality and reproducibility of the parts made and how to qualify and certify these parts for use.”
“The achievement of the facility qualification allows TWI to support industry on their journey towards part qualification and pre-audit facility checks for additively manufactured parts,” he continued. “We are now engaging with stakeholders regarding future work and additional developments to strengthen the facility qualification, including the addition of other materials and L-PBF systems.”
David Hardacre, Lead Specialist at LR, commented, “An LR qualification provides independent third-party assurance to an AM facility and demonstrates a real commitment to the highest levels of consistent quality and safety.”