At the cutting-edge Global Technology Centre in Bristol run by aerospace firm GKN Aerospace, Renishaw has built RenAM 500Q Flex additive manufacturing (AM) equipment.
The machine will offer insightful inputs on how additive manufacturing for aerospace applications might be optimized. As part of the Horizon project, financed by the Aircraft Technology Institute (ATI), which sought to transform additive manufacturing technologies into workable production methods for aerospace parts and components, Renishaw initially collaborated with GKN Aerospace in 2014. Since the start of their partnership, the two businesses have worked together to create components for aero-engines, civil aero-structures, and functional systems.
GKN Aerospace has grown its expertise of AM and applies the technique to various business streams. After observing the merits of AM, including the consolidation of parts, shortened manufacturing value chain times, and a decrease in overall defects, GKN Aerospace and Renishaw addressed how the new Flex platform would assist the manufacturer with additional capabilities including the ability to swiftly change materials and complete a powder count more readily than on a recirculating system.
According to Bradley Hughes, Senior Research Engineer at GKN Aerospace, they sought to discover an advanced AM technology to set up a very stable, highly repeatable, and highly quantifiable manufacturing process that results in no faults at all.
The in-process monitoring capabilities, for instance, help keep track of performance parameters that are crucial for the aerospace sector. Hughes stated this while discussing the advantages of the RenAM 500Q. They can work on items utilizing various materials more quickly because of the system’s ability to facilitate material changes, which is typically a difficult procedure when using AM equipment.
According to Bryan Austin, the Director of Sales for Renishaw’s Additive Manufacturing Group, the collaboration with GKN Aerospace helps in understanding how the aerospace segment may tap into the benefits of the Flex platform, while also checking out the steadily evolving requirements of this industry as well. Renishaw offered support with things like installation, training, and tackling initial issues, while also covering operations for the machine. Renishaw has been directly involved in the entire process of commissioning the RenAM 500Q Flex alongside.