Premium Aero­tec and Con­cept Laser Sign Co­op­er­a­tion Agree­ment

Signing of the cooperation agreement between Concept Laser and Premium Aerotec in Lichtenfels: those present include Frank Herzog, President & CEO of Concept Laser, and Gerd Weber, Premium Aerotec site manager in Varel (left to right on the first row; source: Concept Laser)

Signing of the cooperation agreement between Concept Laser and Premium Aerotec in Lichtenfels: those present include Frank Herzog, President & CEO of Concept Laser, and Gerd Weber, Premium Aerotec site manager in Varel (left to right on the first row; source: Concept Laser)

For the aviation industry, additive manufacturing methods present both an opportunity and a challenge. This is because additive manufacturing technology produces entirely new components and also creates new supply chains. Premium Aerotec is at the focal point of an extensive network of a wide range of different companies. In order to shape a successful future in partnership, the working relationship with certain partners has been stepped up. For example, on January 20, 2016 a delegation from Premium Aerotec signed a cooperation agreement with Concept Laser as the premium supplier for machinery and plant technology.

The core aspects of the working relationship are also the further industrialization of the laser melting process for applications in aviation, the further development of the plant and process technology and the QA systems, as well as the qualification of new powder alloys.

Frank Herzog, CEO & President of Concept Laser, says: “This cooperation marks an important milestone for the industrialization of 3D metal printing in aircraft construction and undoubtedly also sends a signal to other industries. The network will work together to improve the value chain. We are already working today on the solutions of tomorrow to make laser melting with metals even more attractive for commercial series production. The implementation of the Industry 4.0 concept in the form of digitization, automation and the interlinking of any number of machines are an integral part of our AM Factory of Tomorrow, which was presented at the end of last year.”

Airbus is planning to print one tonne of metal powder a month in 2018, according to Peter Sander, Head of Emerging Technologies & Concepts at Airbus. Accordingly, AM production and AM processes should be consistently promoted and expanded through to 2018.

Next phase of expansion in Varel: An X line 2000R from Concept Laser featuring multilaser technology and the world’s largest build envelope (800 x 400 x 500 mm3) for processing reactive materials such as titanium or titanium alloys. (Source: Concept Laser)

Next phase of expansion in Varel: An X line 2000R from Concept Laser featuring multilaser technology and the world’s largest build envelope (800 x 400 x 500 mm3) for processing reactive materials such as titanium or titanium alloys. (Source: Concept Laser)

Premium Aerotec’s new production hall in Varel, Germany, for 3D metal printing commenced operation on January 20, 2016. This heralded the start of the industrial series production of a double-walled pipe elbow in the fuel system of the A400M transport aircraft. These complex parts were previously produced from individual cast parts which were then welded together to form one assembly. In the hall, two M2 cusing Multilaser machines and one X line 1000R machine from Concept Laser produce 3D parts in the LaserCusing process.

“By the middle of 2016, another X line 2000R will be added. It features what is currently the world’s largest build envelope (800 x 400 x 500 mm3) in the field of powder-bed-based laser melting and is also equipped with 2 x 1,000 W lasers,” says Gerd Weber, site manager in Varel. (Source: Concept Laser)

Links: Concept Laser GmbH, Lichtenfels, Germany  Premium Aerotec GmbH, Augsburg, Germany  Additive Manufacturing at Airbus Group

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