Improving competitiveness of Additive Manufacturing Aerospace serial parts 2019-01-1900
The interest of selective laser melting technology for aerospace parts is very high due to their high complexity and their freedom of design which allow functions integration.
However, the competitiveness of Laser Beam Melting (LBM) machines for aerospace industry is limited by two major road blocks. On the one hand, basic parametric set sold with LBM machines are more oriented to historical qualification than productivity rates. For instance, the ongoing qualification on EOS M290 by AIRBUS COMMERCIAL AIRCRAFT only enables us to produce a hundred pieces per machine per year. On the other hand, wasted times between two consecutive manufacturing batches are significant and are impacting the yearly output of the machines.
The present project focuses on two activities, focusing on the largest available machines, XLINE2000R and M400, in order to maximize the amount of pieces per build. The first one was the improvement of parametric set productivity, to reduce production time, while keeping material and mechanical properties. We focused on main aerospace materials: titanium alloys, aluminum alloys (Scalmalloy®) and nickel-chromium-based superalloys. The second one was to apply the LEAN strategy (VSM – SMED) to reduce wasted times. We had to adapt our methods to various brands of machines (Mainly CONCEPT LASER and EOS).