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Oerlikon and Lufthansa Technik signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to establish robust and repeatable processes for additive manufacturing (AM) in the aircraft MRO industry. The partnership is an important step toward the industrialization of AM in the aircraft MRO industry and aims to take advantage of potential flexibility and cost savings in manufacturing, procurement, warehousing and supply chain management.

“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,” said Dr. Roland Fischer, CEO, Oerlikon Group. “We look forward to strengthening our partnership with Lufthansa Technik and join forces to develop reliable, repeatable and quality-assured additive manufacturing processes, standards and products for the MRO industry.”

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

Oerlikon AM and Lufthansa Technik will build up representative component geometrics. The components will be printed on identical printers in 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 printers as more data on manufacturing processes is collected.

The collaboration between Oerlikon AM and Lufthansa Technik will help drive the industrialization of additive manufacturing as the study results will be shared with relevant industry bodies to support defining standards for the qualification and approval of aircraft components.

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