Jul 25, 2016 | By Tess

© Belga

It seems that the benefits of additive manufacturing within the aerospace industry are becoming increasingly apparent as more and more companies within the sector are investing in and turning to 3D printing technologies as a manufacturing solution. Most recently, Belgian aerospace company Sonaca announced a partnership with France based Fives-Michelin Additive Solutions (FMAS) to develop and produce 3D printed titanium parts for the aerospace industry.

Through the partnership, announced last week through a joint press release, both companies are hoping to establish themselves as leaders of metal additive manufacturing within the aerospace sector. More specifically, the partnership is seeking to combine Sonaca’s aerospace experience with Fives-Michelin’s additive manufacturing know-how to offer both their clients optimal and expert manufacturing options.

Bernard Delvaux, CEO of Sonaca, said of the partnership: “We are extremely happy to work with Fives Michelin Additive Solutions. Their reputation in AM and the performance of their machines, backed up by several years of industrial practical application, is a remarkable asset.”

Bruno Bernard, FMAS’s JV CEO echoed the sentiment saying, “Sonaca, which is recognized for its design and build skill is FMAS’ perfect partner for the commercial development of additive manufacturing competitive offers for the aeronautical market.”

According to the joint press release, Sonaca and FMAS are expecting to manufacture certified 3D printed titanium components for the aerospace industry by next year, 2017. This will be achieved with the help of FMAS’s state-of-the art laser beam fusion technique. With the successful creation of certified 3D printed titanium aerospace parts, the collaborating companies are hoping to offer their clients an end-to-end “one-stop shop” solution where they can design, engineer, manufacture, and even certify production parts.

Additive manufacturing technologies have become a growing interest for aerospace companies for a number of reasons, especially as they continue to advance. Among the many reasons, 3D printing offers aerospace manufacturing companies a both cost and time efficient way of producing end-use parts, allows for unprecedented design freedom (especially in the creation of complex internal structures), and makes small batch production more feasible than ever. Sonaca and FMAS are hoping to take advantage of and further develop and expand the technology and its aerospace applications through their mutually beneficial partnership.

Sonaca, which operates throughout Europe, China, North America, and South America, specializes in the development and production of advanced components for a number of markets, including aerospace, civil, and military. FMAS, which itself is a joint venture between industrial engineering group Fives SA and French manufacturing company the Michelin Group, was established in September 2015 to become a major player in the metal 3D printing industry.

Recently, France also invested €10.5 million in FAIR (Fabrication Additive pour Intensification de Réacteur, or Additive Manufacturing for Reactor Intensification), to help advance industrial additive manufacturing technologies and processes within the country.




Posted in 3D Printer Company



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