Lufthansa Technik, aviation repair and maintenance company, are delving further into the world of 3D printing by investing in EOSTATE MeltPool. They are hardly alone in their foray into additive manufacturing, with GE Aviation recently making plans for the largest deal in 3D printing to date.
An extension for EOS M 290 system for Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS), EOSTATE MeltPool provides automated and intelligent process monitoring in real time – for every spot, every layer and every part.
In this way, it creates the conditions for the automated monitoring of the melting pool. It simultaneously enables a view inside the part during the build process, as such paving the way for building an entirely new quality system in the future.
Lufthansa Technik is the first customer to acquire the entire EOSTATE MeltPool solution.
“With Lufthansa Technik, we are pleased to welcome an innovative partner from the industry, with whom we will continue to develop our technology for the demanding requirements for the repair of aviation and aerospace components.” said Udo Behrendt, Key Account Manager at EOS.
“We selected the EOS solution for several reasons. The underlying metal system EOS M 290 impresses with its process stability. The technology has already proven itself with engine manufacturers. During the decision-making process, we were particularly impressed with this particular combination of EOS core competencies. On this basis, we will be preparing for future component generations that are optimised for Additive Manufacturing, so that we can continue to defend our leadership position in an intensely competitive environment.” added Simon Feicks, Project Manager Additive Manufacturing, Engine Services at Lufthansa Technik.
Why EOSTATE MeltPool?
The EOS powder-based process complements the already established Lufthansa Technik portfolio of 3D printing methods, and will represent an essential part of new repair processes. With EOSTATE MeltPool, the company is introducing a key quality management component to the process, which will contribute to seamless quality control during the build process in the future. Compared to other Additive Manufacturing methods currently in use at the aviation company, the DMLS technology opens up a number of possibilities that could not be implemented to date, like Netshape geometries and the realization of internal cavities ideally complement the repair portfolio.
In the engine segment, Lufthansa Technik focuses on a hybrid repair approach. Feicks explains that the company wants to get ready for the day when components from the new engine generation, which are made with 3D printing, arrive in the work shops for repairs, providing customers with cost-efficient and quality-optimised repairs.
“We have already noticed initial successes in the jig department as we were able to reduce lead times and costs. Yet, this technology requires our mechanics, designers and engineers to think differently. It is precisely for this reason that, in addition to the installation of the system, the education and development of our employees forms a key component for the comprehensive use of industrial 3D printing,” he added.
“Lufthansa Technik firmly believes that Additive Manufacturing is a technology of the future. It is time to change our way of thinking. Milling was yesterday. Today, parts are selectively built where it is needed. Resource efficiency also plays an important role. We do not want to be limited by tools any longer. The limits of production variance are shifting, and we are looking towards a future that we still have to comprehend.”
About Lufthansa Technik
With more than 30 subsidiaries and affiliated companies and over 25,000 employees worldwide, the Lufthansa Technik group is one of the leading providers of technical aviation services. The Lufthansa Technik portfolio covers the entire service range for commercial aircraft, including maintenance, repairs, overhauling, modification and retrofitting, engines and components.
Founded in 1989, EOS is the global technology and quality leader for high-end Additive Manufacturing (AM) solutions. As the leading pioneer of Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS) technology, EOS also provides a unique polymer AM portfolio. For these industrial 3D Printing processes, EOS offers a modular solution portfolio including systems, software, materials, technical and consulting services. EOS is the partner of choice for industrial AM production, enabling sustainable solutions for the industry. Customers utilizing EOS AM solutions gain many benefits from the paradigm-shifting technology: lightweight structures, cost reduction based on functional integration, individualization as well as accelerated product development and production.
Featured image: Tobias Hase