Spirit AeroSystems [NYSE: SPR] and Norsk Titanium US Inc. (NTi), have reached an agreement to initiate qualification of Spirit's first additive-manufactured, titanium, structural component for the Boeing 787.
This qualification will validate NTi's production and industrialization processes, integrate Spirit's workscope of machining final parts from additively manufactured near-net shapes and verify material and final part conformity to requirements.
"Spirit has had a comprehensive and long relationship with Norsk Titanium, and this part will be our first additive structural titanium component incorporated into a commercial airplane program," said Spirit AeroSystems Senior Vice President of Fabrication and Supply Chain Management, Ron Rabe.
NTi is the world's first FAA-approved, OEM qualified, supplier of additive-manufactured, structural titanium components. NTi's proprietary Rapid Plasma Deposition™ (RPD™) process has been in serial production of Boeing 787 titanium components since April, 2017.
"I am very proud of the Norsk Titanium team and this accomplishment. It represents years of technology development," said CEO of Norsk Titanium Mike Canario. "I also would also like to thank Spirit for this vote of confidence in the Norsk RPD™ process and capability."
NTi's Plattsburgh, N.Y., facility was recently added to Spirit's Approved Supplier List (ASL) and Boeing's Qualified Producer's List (QPL). Spirit and NTi have had an ongoing technology collaboration for more than nine years. In 2017, both companies signed a Master Procurement Agreement (MPA) for qualification and production activities. The first commercial aircraft part will begin serial production later this year.
Spirit AeroSystems is one of the largest manufacturers of fabricated parts for the aerospace industry. The company recently announced plans to expand its fabrication business to support other manufacturers around the globe.
Norsk Titanium is the world's pioneering supplier of aerospace-grade, additive manufactured, structural titanium components. The company RPD™ process transforms titanium wire into complex components suitable for structural and safety-critical applications.