Additive Manufacturing in the Aerospace Industry

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Over the last few years, additive manufacturing (also known as 3D printing) has garnered much attention and appreciation, both from consumers and the manufacturing fraternity. 3D printing, which started as a prototyping technology, has come a long way since its inception. To put it in simple words, additive manufacturing (AM) is a game-changer for manufacturers of all sizes.

Traditional ways of generating products such as machining, cutting, turning, shaping, milling, and other "subtractive" manufacturing processes can be supplemented, and in some circumstances, completely replaced, by additive manufacturing. When we look at the bigger picture, AM is transforming people’s lives, which includes but is not restricted to just medical advances, safer transportation, highways, or any other infrastructural developments.

Manufacturers can now swiftly make mock-ups of a new product or a part to fulfill a specific market niche, which can lead to the production of high-profit margin products. When additive manufacturing is used from start to finish, the overall manufacturing process becomes even more streamlined.

Given the advantages of AM, it's only natural that the technology would be used in the aerospace industry. According to MarketanndMarkets, aerospace 3D printing is expected to exceed $3 billion by 2022 due to the rising demand for lightweight 3D printed parts for aircraft engines.

Here are some areas where AM is implemented in the aerospace industry.


Constructing Rocket Bodies:

Relativity Space is a California-based aerospace manufacturing firm that focuses on creating manufacturing technologies, launch vehicles, and rocket engines for commercial orbital launch services. Their Stargate manufacturing facility is known to house the world's largest 3D printers. These printers use direct energy deposition and patented alloys to make the outer bodies of their rockets.

When compared to traditional launch vehicles, 3D printing allows them to quickly create integrated components with a 100-fold lower part count. This also reduces weight and increases reliability, both of which are critical to the economics of space launch. It further allows designers to explore numerous designs in a short time span and helps enhance the overall quality and arrive at a better design.


Designing Rocket Engines:

Rocket Lab is a public American aerospace company that specializes in small satellite launches. Their Rutherford rocket engine was first tested in late 2016, and over 200 of these game-changing variants have been manufactured since then.

The combustion chambers, injectors, pumps, and main propellant valves of this engine were all 3D printed utilizing electron-beam melting. The resulting engine is simple, dependable, and light, weighing only 35 kg (77 lb), making it perfect for low-cost space launches. Their new Curie and HyperCurie thrusters, which operate outside Earth's atmosphere, are based on the same principles.


Designing Astronaut Outfits:

Additive manufacturing isn't just for making actual rockets; it may also be used to create improved, refined astronaut outfits. The costumes of SpaceX's crew were partially produced with additive manufacturing when they sent humans into space.

Even though the company has kept much of the underlying technology under wraps, a source shared that the helmet was made by using 3D printing technology and it had integrated valves, visor retraction and locking mechanisms, and microphones built into the structure.


Wrapping Up:

The current pace of manufacturing and engineering really necessitates the need for everyone to invest in additive manufacturing.” 

Cory Larson WMEP Manufacturing Solutions Consultant – Automation & Cybersecurity, Registered Practitioner, CMMC-AB

AM is also gaining traction in the commercial manufacturing and fabrication markets. Metal fabrication companies all around the world have begun to provide additive manufacturing solutions in addition to subtractive methods like CNC machining. 3D printing is swiftly becoming one of the cornerstones of the industry 4.0 movement due to its capacity to generate high-tolerance parts and rapid prototypes at a substantially reduced cost.

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In addition, ANDRITZ offers technologies for certain other sectors including automation, the production of animal feed and biomass pellets, pumps, machinery for nonwovens, steam boiler plants, biomass boilers and gasification plants for energy generation, flue gas cleaning plants, plants for the production of panelboards (MDF) and thermal sludge utilization.

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Discover the most effective plan for manufacturing content marketing and change your present marketing methods into more refined and up-to-date ones. FAQ What are the best ways to market a manufacturing company? The best approaches to advertising any manufacturing business are to concentrate on improving content, email marketing, SEO, press releases, and event sponsorship. Is marketing vital for manufacturers? Yes, since marketing opens up a whole new world for manufacturers, and a strong brand helps any business stand out from the competition.

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Article | May 5, 2022

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Article | January 31, 2022

Every industrial facility generates waste in some form or another. However, not all waste has to be physical; some can appear within the processes that occur throughout the manufacturing cycle. It is critical that you adopt strategies that enable you to generate less waste. “Lean is a way of thinking, not a list of things to do.” – Shigeo Shingo, a Japanese Industrial Engineer Lean manufacturing is a method for optimizing and simplifying the way a company operates and interacts with its surroundings on a strategic level. Additionally, it is an efficient method of decreasing and managing existing waste within an organization.In this article, we'll look at the eight types of waste in lean manufacturing and the lean tools that may help reduce them and improve the precision and customer focus of your business operations. How to Eliminate the 8 Types of Waste in Lean Manufacturing Transport Transport is a prominent example of lean manufacturing waste. It may be from machining to welding, or from a factory in China to an assembly line in America. This transportation adds no value to the product, does not alter it, and does not satisfy the customer. Transport waste may cause your firm to lose money rapidly; you must spend on material handling equipment, employees, training, safety precautions, additional space for material transportation, etc. Transportation requires strategic planning and logistical assistance to be lean and optimum. Transportation performance should be monitored routinely using analytical measures and KPIs. For example, Toyota's Toyota Production System (TPS) has developed the tools and practices of Lean Manufacturing, and many of its suppliers are located near to their factories, which helps them reduce the transportation waste of their business. To start applying lean thinking to transportation management, you must first understand transportation expenses, which are divided into unit and productivity costs. Focus on long-term solutions that reduce overall mileage, trailer use, waiting times, and adherence to routing guides. Value stream mapping can help locate transportation waste. With value stream mapping, processes are documented and evaluated in terms of customer value. Any transportation that cannot be connected to value is reduced or eliminated. Inventory One of the main benefits of current Point of Sales (POS) and production technologies is that companies may produce things only when there is demand. Inventory waste is no longer an unavoidable issue. When this type of lean manufacturing waste occurs, it is usually the result of excessive production or a process breakdown. Order management and inventory monitoring solutions assist in decreasing inventory waste. Creating real-time inventory visibility and accuracy requires the use of a computer-based system, such as ERP software. Additionally, it has been demonstrated that scanning barcodes significantly reduces errors associated with manual procedures. This type of solution offers a far more detailed and fast inventory tracking strategy. Moreover, an active cycle counting program is critical for a manufacturing company's inventory management to improve. Movement/ Motion Movement/motion waste is the unnecessary transport of objects. Motion waste, on the other hand, also refers to unnecessary human actions or movements. Motion waste is commonly caused by unoccupied or untidy workspaces. To address motion waste, lean practitioners invented the 5S method. It decreases workplace inefficiency and motion waste. Each of the five steps in the 5S technique begins with the letter S, which are: Sort: Removing unnecessary material from each work area. Set in Order: Set the goal of creating efficient work areas for each individual. Shine: Maintaining a clean work area after each shift helps in identifying and resolving minor concerns. Standardize: Documenting changes to make applications in other work areas more accessible. Sustain: Repeat each stage for continuous improvement. Waiting Waiting time occurs when two interrelated processes are out of sync. This may include waiting for parts, instructions, labor, or repairs. Total Productive Maintenance (TPM) is a comprehensive approach that helps to eliminate waiting by reducing equipment downtime. It emphasizes empowering operators by assisting them in maintaining their own equipment. This method promotes shared accountability and increases the involvement of frontline workers. Over-production Overproduction happens when there is a surplus of goods produced. Overproduction is a major source of waste in the 8 wastes examples of lean. It is costly, reduces quality, and generates other wastes such as inventory and transportation. Kanban is another lean manufacturing approach designed to decrease overproduction waste. Kanban is a Japanese word that means “visual board”. As the name suggests, this approach initiates action based on visual clues. It is a "pull" method that addresses demand rather than anticipating it. Additional inventory is generated only when existing inventory is "pulled" from stock. Over-processing When simple processes are replaced by complex ones, this is known as over-processing. Excessive processing might entail the addition of features to products that buyers do not require. The employment of expensive equipment that isn't strictly necessary is another example of excessive processing. Value stream mapping may be quite beneficial for locating instances of excessive processing. It assists manufacturers in developing a sound action plan to leverage their available resources while also ensuring that materials and time are spent efficiently. Defects Defects in manufactured products are expensive to repair since the damaged product must be scrapped or re-made, interrupting the manufacturing process. Lean manufacturing approaches strive for a zero-defect output by recording problems, determining their causes, and adopting corrective action. There are several strategies for identifying and eliminating defect wastes; nevertheless, lean manufacturing seeks to prevent them from developing in the first place. This defect prevention is accomplished through a variety of techniques ranging from automation / Jidoka (machines with "human" intelligence that can detect when a non-standard event has occurred) to Pokayoke devices that detect if a product is defective, either preventing the process from running or highlighting the defect for action. Implementing standard operating procedures (SOP) and training to guarantee that the proper processes are used and standards are fulfilled is, once again, the greatest solution for overcoming defective waste. Defects are an obvious waste. The cost of materials and labor utilized to create a product gets wasted. The waste from faulty products is aggravated by returns, lost goodwill, and wasted customer support activities. Untapped Talent Employees are the most significant resource in any organization. The lean waste of untapped talent is just what it sounds like: not leveraging your precious resource, your personnel, effectively or at all. This produces waste by leaving value on the table that your workers may provide through unrecognized abilities or talents. Recognizing and utilizing your team's abilities, expertise, and talents is critical to business success. Employees are your most precious resources, and not fully using them wastes time and money. Inappropriate task assignments are one typical source of talent waste. Additionally, unnecessary administrative chores, poor communication, ineffective leadership or teamwork, and inadequate training are further untapped talent lean wastes examples. The greatest method to reduce talent waste is to empower employees rather than micromanage them. Many unseen abilities and talents emerge when employees feel empowered, making it simpler to identify and develop accessible talent. Following are a few ideas that can be adapted to any workplace: Refine training programs. Set up process management checklists that allow for flexibility. Create remote monitoring systems to reduce micromanagement. Hold frequent team meetings so they may express their views and ask questions. How Did Nike Benefit from Lean Manufacturing? According to the company's FY10/11 Sustainable Business Performance Summary, the supply chain has run more effectively after adopting a lean strategy. They termed it "better manufacturing" as it eliminated wasted resources and time. As part of its sustainability mission, the study noted, the corporation attempted to remove waste, wasted time, and materials from its processes. According to the survey, Failure rates were 50% lower in contracted factories that used the lean strategy than in companies that did not. It was shown that lead times for deliveries from lean manufacturing were on average 40% shorter. Lean factories have also claimed gains in productivity of 10% to 20% and a 30% decrease in the time required for launching a new model. Final Words We've discussed the lean strategies to deal with the eight forms of waste in manufacturing. Identifying the lean manufacturing types of waste is critical for evaluating business loopholes and overcoming impediments to company growth. Despite the industry’s transition journey from 1.0 to 4.0, many manufacturing professionals agree that lean manufacturing is still applicable today for running a business with the least amount of resources necessary to thrive. It is ideal for businesses looking to stay ahead of emerging industry trends, such as new technology and associated workforce shifts. By using Lean concepts, technologies, and digital operations, businesses may increase their agility and customer focus. FAQ How is lean different from Six Sigma? Lean aims to reduce waste, speed up operations, and improve flow. Six Sigma lowers variation and lean decreases waste. Six Sigma targets 3.4 defects per million opportunities, whereas lean emphasizes speed. What are the five principles of lean manufacturing? According to Womack and Jones, there are five key lean principles: value, value stream, flow, pull, and perfection. What is the objective of lean manufacturing? Companies looking for ways to enhance efficiency and reduce waste should adopt lean thinking. The ultimate objective of lean manufacturing is to manufacture excellent goods that satisfy customers while using minimal resources.

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In addition, ANDRITZ offers technologies for certain other sectors including automation, the production of animal feed and biomass pellets, pumps, machinery for nonwovens, steam boiler plants, biomass boilers and gasification plants for energy generation, flue gas cleaning plants, plants for the production of panelboards (MDF) and thermal sludge utilization.

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Kardex and Addverb start partnership in the area of intralogistics software

Kardex | January 25, 2024

Kardex has agreed a strategic partnership with Addverb in the area of intralogistics software. Addverb is a leading global robotics and warehouse automation company based in India. The cooperation combines Kardex's expertise in the area of compact storage systems with Addverb's outstanding warehouse management technology. Addverb's highly innovative warehouse management system is based on a modern microservices architecture and fully operable in the cloud. The partnership between Kardex and Addverb enables an integrated and efficient solution package with the latest technologies in the area of warehouse management and automation. The overall package of Addverb software and Kardex storage systems offers seamlessly integrated and optimized storage processes for companies of all sizes in all industries. Addverb's warehouse management solution is based on a microservices architecture that makes it seamlessly scalable and extremely flexible. In addition to which it features a user-friendly interface that eases the implementation and administration. With its algorithms optimizing the handling of resources and materials, the Addverb system ensures optimized workflows and greater productivity. The cloud-based architecture meanwhile guarantees global access and real-time data for optimal decision-making with the highest possible security standards. The partnership between Kardex and Addverb is an important step forward in the advancement and innovation of warehouse management technologies. Both companies are convinced that their joint effort will contribute to boosting the efficiency and agility of companies worldwide. "Thanks to the partnership with Addverb, we are able to offer our clients one of the most advanced warehouse management solutions for highly efficient storage. The combination of our technologies will set new standards in the integration of logistics systems" emphasizes Dr. Volker Jungbluth, Head of Corporate Technology at Kardex. The strategic partnership enables extensive synergies between the two companies. "Together with Kardex, we will be able to offer our clients first-class solutions that will revolutionize their warehousing processes and make them more competitive", says Pieter Feenstra, CEO Addverb EMEA.

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Manufacturing Technology

MaxLinear Launches Product Design Kit for Active Electrical Cables Using Keystone PAM4 DSP

MaxLinear | February 02, 2024

MaxLinear, Inc. a leading provider of high-speed interconnect ICs enabling data center, metro, and wireless transport networks, announced the availability of a comprehensive product design kit (PDK) to optimize performance and accelerate the time to market for high-speed Active Electrical Cables (AEC) using MaxLinear’s 5nm PAM4 DSP, Keystone. The PDK is a cost-cutting and time-saving tool for cable manufacturers who want to quickly integrate Keystone into their active electrical cables. MaxLinear’s Keystone PAM4 DSP offers a significant power advantage in AEC applications, which is increasingly becoming a critical factor for hyperscale data centers. The use of 5nm CMOS technology enables designers and manufacturers to build high-speed cables that meet the need for low power, highly integrated, high performance interconnect solutions that will drive the next generation of hyperscale cloud networks. Manufacturers taking advantage of MaxLinear’s PDK to optimize cable designs using Keystone PAM4 DSP will gain a distinct advantage over competitor solutions when trying to maximize reach and minimize power consumption. The PDK makes Keystone easy to integrate with strong applications support, multiple tools to optimize and monitor performance, and reference designs (SW and HW) to accelerate integration. Sophisticated software allows for quick design optimization for the lowest possible power consumption and maximizing cable reach. Cable designers can constantly monitor performance, route signals from any port to any port, and take advantage of hitless firmware upgrades. “MaxLinear is focused on providing not only industry-leading interconnect technologies but also a comprehensive suite of tools to support our manufacturing and design partners,” said Drew Guckenberger, Vice President of High Speed Interconnect at MaxLinear. “Our development kit for our Keystone products provides them with a path to take products to market more quickly and more cost-effectively.” Active electrical cables (AECs) are revolutionizing data center connections. Unlike passive cables, they actively boost signals, allowing for longer distances (up to 7 meters for 400G), higher bandwidth, and thinner, lighter cables. This makes them ideal for high-speed applications like top-of-rack connections (connecting switches to servers within the same rack); direct digital control (enabling flexible interconnectivity within racks and across rows); and breakout solutions (splitting high-speed connections into multiple lower-speed channels). The high-speed interconnect market – which includes active optical cables, active electrical cables, direct attach copper cables, and others – is expected to grow to $17.1B by 2028, up from $10.7B in 2021 according to a market forecast report from The Insight Partners. The Keystone Family The Keystone 5nm DSP family caters to 400G and 800G applications, featuring a groundbreaking 106.25Gbps host side electrical I/O, aligning with the line side interface rate. Available variants support single-mode optics (EML and SiPh), multimode optics and Active Electrical Cables (AECs), offering comprehensive solutions with companion TIAs. Host side interfaces cover ethernet rates of 25G, 50G, and 100G per lane over C2M, MR, and LR host channels. The line side interfaces, tailored for 100G/λ DR, FR, and LR applications, also support these rates. These devices boast extensive DSP functionality, encompassing line-side transmitter DPD, TX FIR, receiver FFE, and DFE. With exceptional performance and signal integrity, these DSPs occupy a compact footprint (12mm x 13mm), ideal for next-gen module form-factors like QSFP-DD800 and OSFP800. Additionally, they are available as Known Good Die (KGD) for denser applications, such as OSFP-XD. About MaxLinear, Inc. MaxLinear, Inc. is a leading provider of radio frequency (RF), analog, digital, and mixed-signal integrated circuits for access and connectivity, wired and wireless infrastructure, and industrial and multimarket applications. MaxLinear is headquartered in Carlsbad, California. MaxLinear, the MaxLinear logo, any other MaxLinear trademarks are all property of MaxLinear, Inc. or one of MaxLinear's subsidiaries in the U.S.A. and other countries. All rights reserved.

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Smart Factory

PsiQuantum, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group and Mitsubishi Chemical Announce Partnership to Design Energy-Efficient Materials on PsiQuantum’s

PsiQuantum | January 30, 2024

PsiQuantum and Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group announced that they are beginning work with Mitsubishi Chemical Group on a joint project to simulate excited states of photochromic molecules which have widespread industrial and residential potential applications such as the development of smart windows, energy-efficient data storage, solar energy storage and solar cells, and other photoswitching use cases. Qlimate, a PsiQuantum-led initiative that includes MUFG as a partner, focuses on using fault-tolerant quantum computing to crack the most challenging computational problems and accelerate the development of scalable breakthroughs across climate technologies, including more energy-efficient materials. Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG) is committed to supporting the world’s transition to a sustainable future, and to encourage industry access to the most promising breakthrough technologies. By pioneering PsiQuantum’s Qlimate solutions with industry leader Mitsubishi Chemical, MUFG is at the forefront of quantum computing for sustainability. This joint project will determine whether high-accuracy estimates of excited state properties are feasible on early-generation fault-tolerant quantum computers, specifically focusing on diarylethenes used for energy-efficient photoswitching applications. The project will allow Mitsubishi Chemical to gain early insights into how and when fault-tolerant quantum computing can be deployed in support of critical, scalable, sustainable materials. Because predicting the optical properties of materials requires complex analysis of excited states, standard algorithmic techniques for simulating these molecules (such as the Density Functional Theory, or DFT) often produce qualitatively incorrect results. The project will bring together Mitsubishi Chemical’s deep experience of computational chemistry and PsiQuantum’s leading expertise in fault-tolerant quantum computing to push the boundaries of approaching the complex physics in these systems and pave the way to developing new, more powerful energy-efficient photonic materials. Philipp Ernst, Head of Solutions at PsiQuantum, said: “PsiQuantum has dedicated teams who identify, describe and solve complex problem sets with best-in-class quantum algorithms. These are designed specifically to run on fault-tolerant quantum computers and will tackle previously-impossible computational challenges. This partnership will leverage our team’s unique know-how and Mitsubishi Chemical’s expertise in photochromic materials. We are grateful for MUFG’s visionary support in our mission to deploy high-impact quantum computing solutions to fight climate change.” Suguru Azegami, Managing Director, Sustainable Business Division, MUFG said: “We are excited to partner with PsiQuantum and Mitsubishi Chemical on our journey to explore possibilities of quantum computing technologies to solve the imminent global challenge. PsiQuantum’s vision to develop the first utility scale quantum computer before the end of the decade has inspired us, which led our initiative to participate in the Qlimate partnership as the first and sole member from Japan. Mitsubishi Chemical is leading efforts to use the cutting-edge technology to develop next generation materials and we are honored to support the company as its long term financial partner.” Qi Gao, Senior Chief Scientist, Mitsubishi Chemical said: “We are pleased to be part of the partnership and are grateful for MUFG’s support. Mitsubishi Chemical’s over 40 years background in computational chemistry and PsiQuantum’s domain specific knowledge for quantum control is a great fit with the collaboration effort of improving calculation accuracy on quantum device. We hope the partnership will accelerate the innovation of revolutionizing computational studies in chemistry and materials science.” About PsiQuantum PsiQuantum is a private company, founded in 2015 and headquartered in Palo Alto, California. The company’s only mission is to build and deploy the world’s first useful, large-scale quantum computer. Many teams around the world today have demonstrated prototype quantum computing systems, but it is widely accepted that much larger systems are necessary in order to unlock transformational applications across drug discovery, climate technologies, finance, transportation, security & defense and beyond. PsiQuantum’s photonic approach enables rapid scaling via direct leverage of high-volume semiconductor manufacturing and cryogenic infrastructure. The company is partnered with the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory at Stanford University and Sci-Tech Daresbury in the United Kingdom. About Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, Inc. (MUFG) Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, Inc. (MUFG) is one of the world’s leading financial groups. Headquartered in Tokyo and with over 360 years of history, MUFG has a global network with approximately 2,000 locations in more than 50 countries. The Group has about 160,000 employees and offers services including commercial banking, trust banking, securities, credit cards, consumer finance, asset management, and leasing. The Group aims to “be the world’s most trusted financial group” through close collaboration among our operating companies and flexibly respond to all of the financial needs of our customers, serving society, and fostering shared and sustainable growth for a better world. MUFG’s shares trade on the Tokyo, Nagoya, and New York stock exchanges. About the Mitsubishi Chemical Group Corporation Mitsubishi Chemical Group Corporation (TSE: 4188) is a specialty materials group with an unwavering commitment to lead with innovative solutions to achieve KAITEKI, the well-being of people and the planet. We bring deep expertise and material science leadership in core market segments such as mobility, digital, medical and food. In this way, we enable industry transformation, technology breakthroughs, and longer, more fruitful lives for us all. Together, around 70,000 employees worldwide provide advanced chemistry-based solutions to deliver the core elements of our slogan — “Science. Value. Life.”

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