Lufthansa Technik has set up an Additive Manufacturing (AM) Center
with the aim of bundling and expanding the competence and experience
the company has gained using this technology in the past.
Additive manufacturing is often referred to as 3D printing. In
addition to an unrivaled degree of freedom in designing the parts,
additive manufacturing produces individual parts very quickly - a
huge advantage when prototypes or one-off parts must be manufactured.
In the highly weight-conscious world of aircraft, the lower weight of
parts makes using the AM technology very attractive.
Dr. Aenne Koester, head of the AM Center, explains: "The new AM
Center will serve as a collaborative hub where the experience and
skills that Lufthansa Technik has gained in additive manufacturing
can be bundled and further expanded. The aim is to increase the
degree of maturity of the technologies and to develop products that
are suitable for production."
As the transfer of a new technology into the highly-regulated world
of commercial aircraft operation and MRO poses a challenge, a joint
team of Lufthansa Technik experts and AM specialists from numerous
industry partners and research institutions develops strategies to
support the introduction of this technology. As one example, a
cooperation with Oerlikon AM aims at enhancing the understanding of
process repeatability, a key element of industrialization and
certification. The collaboration will also help drive the
industrialization of additive manufacturing forward, as the study
results will be shared with relevant industry bodies to support
defining standards for the qualification and approval of aircraft