Optomec, manufacturer of patented Aerosol Jet Systems for 3D printed electronics, and LENS, announced the delivery of a multi-functional metal additive system to a leading Maintenance Repair and Overhaul (MRO) supplier for the aviation industry.
The user is an existing customer who has more than five Optomec metal additive systems in production for repairing a variety of turbine components from aircraft engines to industrial gas turbines. The new machine combines two manual turbine repair process operations, not only lowering the cost of engine overhauls but also improving the quality and consistency of these flight-critical procedures.
Optomec Metal Additive System
Optomec’s proprietary process uses a combination of advanced machine vision, adaptive software, on-the-fly laser power adjustment and automation to precisely add metal to worn engine components, restoring them to the geometric specifications set by the original turbine engine manufacturers.
Optomec’s Metal Additive repair solutions are the gold standard in the gas turbine industry and are currently used in high volume production in approximately 100 Maintenance Repair and Overhaul installations worldwide. A single machine has the capacity to repair 10,000’s of turbine blades annually, and together Optomec users having performed production repairs on more than 10 million components over time. The global fleet of 25,000 commercial aircraft and 50,000 military aircraft have a mandated time between overhaul (TBO) of around 5000 flight hours, creating a large and growing demand for automated repair equipment. Optomec metal additive system are currently certified for aviation repair in 15 countries.
“There are really three advantages to using the Optomec AM process for repairing turbine components. First of all, it saves time and cost relative to manual repairs. Secondly, it requires far less heat input, so the base metal is far less affected by the repair. Finally, because the adaptive AM process adds less repair metal, the downstream machining costs are drastically reduced.”– Jamie Hanson, Optomec’s VP of Business Development
Optomec’s Metal Additive systems use a process called Directed Energy Deposition (DED) to build 3D metal parts by deposing powdered metal into a precisely controlled pool of melted metal. Fiberoptic lasers supply the thermal power while advanced motion control systems produce the required geometries for the parts. Optomec leads the DED market with more than 200 DED machines in use.
About Optomec: Optomec is a privately-held, rapidly growing supplier of metal additive systems. Optomec’s patented Aerosol Jet Systems for printed electronics, and LENS and Huffman brand 3D Printers for metal component production and repair, are used by industry to reduce product cost and improve performance. Together, these unique printing solutions work with the broadest spectrum of functional materials, ranging from electronic inks to structural metals and even biological matter.
LENS is a registered trademark of Sandia National Labs; Aerosol Jet is a registered trademark of Optomec, Inc.
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