Materialise, a leader in 3D technology solutions for the industrial and medical markets, and Proponent, a leading independent global aerospace parts distribution company, announced a collaboration that will promote 3D printing in aerospace aftermarket supply chains.
Traditional distribution services, as well as innovative inventory management solutions, are provided by Proponent to airlines, MROs, and OEMs. Every year, the company ships 54 million parts to over 6,000 aerospace customers in over 100 countries. The majority of parts are used in the aftermarket, with applications ranging from cabin interiors to engines, airframes, and cockpits.
Materialise and Proponent hope to collaborate with Aerospace OEMs and Suppliers to promote the adoption of 3D printing in aerospace aftermarket supply chains so as to provide Airlines and MROs with a one-stop-shop solution.
3D Printing in Aerospace Aftermarket Supply Chains
Materialise and Proponent signed an agreement at MRO Europe in Amsterdam to investigate ways to assist aerospace OEMs in gaining access to the benefits of 3D printing, with the ultimate goal of creating a digital supply chain that enables on-demand manufacturing. While 3D printing has previously been the domain of specialist engineering departments in aerospace companies, this advancement will bring it into the procurement domain, making 3D-printed parts more accessible to MROs.
“Open solutions and a collaborative approach have always been crucial to Materialise. Today we are excited to combine our capabilities as an EASA 21.G-certified production organization with Proponent’s reach and central position in the aerospace supply chain. This brings 3D printing technology right in the comfort zone of the aerospace industry’s well-established supply chains.”– Bart Van der Schueren, Materialise CTO
“3D printing represents an opportunity to help our OEM and Supplier Partners to become more efficient in their supply chains and complements our stocking distribution model. Producing customized parts or small production runs through AM gives us an opportunity to source on-demand, sustainably, and avoid high minimum order quantities. Our customers get what they need, when they need it, and OEMs avoid the cost and risks that come with manufacturing these parts.”– Andrew Todhunter, Proponent CEO
Materialise manufactures 700 part series per year for diverse aerospace customers, from leading OEMs to MROs and supplier tiers. This includes an estimated 26,000 parts per year for the Airbus A350 system alone. Materialise is also currently the only supplier to offer manufacturing services in two 3D printing technologies approved by Airbus for flight-ready parts, since becoming Airbus’s first manufacturer for the Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) technology in May this year.
About Proponent: Proponent is the leading independent global aerospace parts distribution business headquartered in Brea, California. As well as providing traditional distribution services to airlines, MROs and OEMs, the company also provides a range of inventory management solutions designed to reduce operating costs and improve supply chain performance.
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