How to Overcome the Additive Manufacturing Challenges in Aerospace

Bhagyashri Kambale | December 06, 2021
ADDITIVE-MANUFACTURING-MIN
Aerospace manufacturing and design are getting advanced with additive manufacturing. However, the limitations of traditional manufacturing techniques sometimes make it incompetent to produce technologically oriented products. Additive Manufacturing (AM)helps the aircraft system run more efficiently by creating lightweight aircraft parts.

This is one of the reasons that additive manufacturing is gaining traction in aerospace and other industries. According to recent analysis and data, the global additive manufacturing market is expected to grow from USD 9.52 billion in 2020 to USD 27.91 billion in 2028. The expanding technologies and materials used in additive manufacturing will indeed stimulate industry growth shortly.

It’s important to note that there isn’t one channel that is the silver bullet. Most of the time, a combination of different channels will help drive a more powerful outcome.”

– Wendy Lee, Director of Marketing at Blue Prism

However, the aerospace industry encounters some challenges with additive manufacturing, which is the focus of this article. Scalability, multi-material capabilities, professional workers, high-cost materials, and quality compliance norms are all constraints that aerospace professionals are dealing with. Here we will discuss the top three challenges of additive manufacturing in aerospace and their solutions.

Future of Additive Manufacturing in the Aerospace Industry

Even though additive manufacturing has been around for a while, it has only lately become advanced enough to be used in the aerospace sector.
In the aerospace business, additive manufacturing has the potential to deliver significant benefits. Cost savings, design freedom, weight reduction, shorter time to market, fewer waste materials, better efficiency, and on-demand production are just some of the benefits.
Although additive manufacturing cannot make every part, it provides an exciting opportunity to explore feasible alternatives, either supplementing or replacing traditional manufacturing processes. However, it must be taken into account early in the development phase. Additionally, knowledge must be embedded in aircraft design teams to ensure the successful use of additive manufacturing.

However, in recent years, AM has become more prevalent in end-to-end manufacturing. According to Deloitte University Press, the future of AM in aerospace may include:

  • Directly embedding additively produced electronics
  • Wings printing
  • 3D printing engine parts
  • Making battlefield repair components


Top 3 Additive Manufacturing Challenges in the Aerospace Industry and Solutions

While problems are inherent in any new technology, experts overcome them by identifying solutions. Let's look at the top three challenges that the aerospace industry is currently facing and the solutions to overcome them.


Lack of Qualified Experts

Using 3D printers in production and automating work processes are skills that are lacking. However, the obstacles are natural, and the skilled manufacturing workforce is aging and reluctant to adapt to new design models. This is creating the skills gaps surrounding manipulating AM technology.


How to Overcome

Less time spent educating employees is better for business. For example, the US National Additive Manufacturing Institute and the European ADMIRE initiative offer accelerated courses via remote learning websites.
Of course, you'll need to provide numerous additive manufacturing opportunities to attract the key technologists, either on-site or off-site. They will oversee new hires' activities and help them translate their knowledge of 3D printing into designs and final items.


Over Budget Material

The typical cost of AM equipment is $300,000. Industrial consumables cost between $100 and $150 per item (although the final price is formed after choosing the material; plastic, for example, is the most budget-friendly option).


How to Overcome

To overcome this obstacle, you must plan a long-term implementation strategy based on the manufacturing-as-a-service model. On-demand manufacturing reduces manufacturing costs and speeds up product development. You can also go with cheap 3D printers that use cheap welding wire that hasjust come onto the market. They cost $1,200 and may suit your needs.


Fresh Quality Compliance Guidelines

As 3D printing and CNC manufacturing technologies constantly evolve, there are no established norms or regulations for 3D printed objects. However, 3D printed solutions do not always match traditional quality, durability, and strength. For example, a 3D-printed mechanical part. Can someone order 500 similar parts a few months later? Consistency standards and product post-processing may have a negative impact in such circumstances. So, in such a case, traditional manufacturing wins over 3D printing.


How to Overcome

You might endeavor to set quality criteria for your 3D-printed products to ensure they are comparable to traditional ones. You can also apply the ANSI AMSC and America Makes standards, which define quality criteria for 3D printed products.


How Boeing Applies Additive Manufacturing Technology?

Boeing is focusing its efforts on leveraging and speeding up additive manufacturing to transform its manufacturing system and support its growth. The company operates 20 additive manufacturing facilities worldwide and collaborates with vendors to supply 3D-printed components for its commercial, space, and defense platforms.

Boeing is now designing missiles, helicopters, and airplanes using 3D printing technology. A small internal team contributes roughly 1,000 3D-printed components to the company's flight projects. Boeing claims that addressing design as an "integrated mechanical system" considerably improves manufacturability and lowers costs.


Final Words

Additive manufacturing is altering the way the aerospace industry designs and manufactures aircraft parts. Aerospace advanced manufacturing is making aircraft production easier. We've explored solutions to some of the snags that you may encounter. However, other concerns, such as limited multi-material capabilities and size constraints, require solutions, and industry specialists are working on them. Despite these challenges, additive manufacturing is still booming and rocking in a variety of industries.


FAQ


Why is additive manufacturing used in Aerospace?

It allows the industry to build quality parts quickly and inexpensively. Reduce waste and build parts for aircraft that are difficult to manufacture using existing methods.


How does additive manufacturing help in Aerospace applications?

Environmental control system (ECS) ducting, custom cosmetic aircraft interior components, rocket engine components, combustor liners, composite tooling, oil and fuel tanks, and UAV components are examples of typical applications. 3D printing helps in producing solid, complicated pieces with ease.


Which aerospace firms use additive manufacturing/3D printing?

Boeing and Airbus are two of the many aircraft businesses that use additive-created parts in their planes. Boeing incorporates additive manufacturing (AM) components into both commercial and military aircraft. Airbus also employs AM metal braces and bleed pipes on the A320neo and A350 XWB aircraft.

Spotlight

SST Sensing Ltd

At SST Sensing Ltd, our experienced and professional employees design and manufacture a range of Fluid and Gas Sensing Solutions and have supplied these products to industry for over 10 years.

OTHER ARTICLES

Lead Generation for Manufacturers: 5 Effective Techniques That Work

Article | January 4, 2022

Lead generation for manufacturers has always been tough due to a lack of knowledge about new technology and trends that can help them generate more business leads. There are still a lot of small and mid-sized manufacturing companies that rely on antiquated manufacturer lead generation methods. In this article, we'll discuss some proven methods for generating leads that can help you increase your company's sales and improve your overall return on investment. "Don’t think of your lead as "LEADS." Instead, think of them as people who are frustrated because understanding and buying your product is too hard. Your job is to make it easy for them to learn about your product and get started. " —Andy Pitre, VP of Product, HubSpot So let's get started. Factors That Must Be Aligned to Drive New Business Leads Landing Pages Landing pages are mini-websites embedded into your site. To deliver an experience that speaks directly to the user's intent, marketers use landing pages. Create unique landing pages for every industrial lead generation campaign. Calls-To-Action To generate quality leads, you need to have a strong call to action (CTA). CTAs are usually buttons that allow users to submit information, visit a landing page, or download an e-book or white paper. Your CTA must be compelling. Give your prospects a reason to click and remove any barriers to the click. CTAs should be bold, high-contrast, and easily identifiable. Forms Without forms, it is impossible to collect leads. Therefore, visitors will be asked to fill out forms that collect their contact information in exchange for an offer. Offers Every lead contains a transaction. A company provides a valuable service in exchange for a prospect's contact information. You won't get many leads unless you provide value to your potential customers. This offer comes in the form of an e-book, consultation, coupon code, or whitepaper. To generate more leads, make compelling offers. Website The above components can't exist if you don't have a website. If you want to emphasize your business, you need to generate quality leads. Why? Because most of today's B2B buyers are millennials, who are highly tech-savvy and increasingly conduct their supplier research online. How to Generate Manufacturing Leads: 5 Effective Techniques Create a Website That Converts "The lead generation process starts by finding out where our target market ‘lives’ on the web." – Wayne Davis Your website should be a trusted source of quality leads. Unfortunately, many companies lose sight of this and develop websites that are cumbersome and difficult to browse, causing a rift between you and your potential customers. Don't expect people to behave if your site doesn't encourage them to act. Your website should have clear "call to action" buttons and lead capture options that allow visitors to contact you in a simple and pleasant way. Additionally, there are website optimization tools available, including PageSpeed Insights, Hotjar, Google Optimize, and WAVE. All of the above-mentioned website optimization tools provide complimentary services. So, this is the most accessible and most reliable approach to generating web leads. Make Descriptive Infographics Infographics are a great way to provide prospects with helpful information while motivating them to contact you. Most importantly, infographics establish your company as a thought leader and unconsciously identify you with industry authority. According to recent surveys, Nearly 41% of respondents indicated that infographics and illustrations are the most effective solutions for achieving their business objectives. On social media, infographics receive three times the number of shares as other types of content. Articles that included infographics received 72% more views than standard articles. A great infographic has a great design. If your organization lacks an in-house graphics team, you can simply locate a freelance designer to create a stunning infographic for you. Your infographics are ageless pieces of material that can be reused for smart marketing and lead generation manufacturing. Here's an example of an infographic from Digital Marketing Philippines from 2019 that received over 1,600 shares and is jam-packed with data and text. In this way, you can see how the company may have gotten its leads from these 1600 shares, each of which is a potential customer. Host an Event According to Bizzabo, 86% of senior management (Senior Managers, Executives, and Board Members) believe that in-person events are critical to the success of their company. The majority of B2B marketers (97%) believe in-person events have a significant impact on achieving business goals. According to Marketing Charts, 68% of B2B marketers agree that in-person events aid in lead generation for manufacturers, while case studies help with lead conversion and acceleration. Improve manufacturing lead generation through events that can occur both online and offline. Organize any kind of event to attract your target market while collecting contact information. Use live events to interact with consumers in real-time, answering questions, addressing objections, learning about your audience, and guiding prospects through the sales funnel. Consider webinars, workshops, seminars, meetups, and conferences. Create a Value-Packed Newsletter "Content is the fuel for your lead generation efforts." – Dayna Rothman According to the Content Marketing Institute, 31% of B2B marketers believe email newsletters are the most effective way to nurture leads. 81% of B2B marketers report that email newsletters are their most frequently used form of content marketing. Create a must-read newsletter that invites interested prospects to engage and remain connected with your company. This enables you to stay top-of-mind with consumers and promote your products and services to move prospects along the sales funnel. The newsletter can have new blog entries, product or service updates, special deals, upcoming events, and recommended reading from other thought leaders. Incorporate SEO into Your Marketing Plan According to Intergrowth, 61% of B2B marketers say SEO and organic traffic generate more leads than any other type of marketing. Search engine leads convert at a rate of 14.6%, while outbound leads (cold calling, direct mail, etc.) convert at a rate of 1.7%. Manufacturers are no exception when it comes to the importance of search engine optimization (SEO). As a result, you may generate many leads with the correct marketing approach and a profound grasp of SEO for manufacturers. Final Words When we consider the statistics explained earlier in this article, we can see the benefits of all of the techniques mentioned and how they can help you increase your lead generation and, as a result, your overall business ROI. Thus, we can refer to the above-mentioned lead generation techniques as sales-driven strategies that will assist you at every lead generation and conversion stage. Improved lead generation for manufacturers enables businesses to reach a vast customer base and generate more high-quality leads. FAQ What is a high-quality lead in manufacturing? Leads of high quality have an increased propensity to convert into paying consumers. The more qualified your leads are, the more likely they will buy your product or service. What are the lead generation challenges? Making accurate data, shaping conversations, and converting qualified leads into sales are some of the significant challenges in manufacturing lead generation.

Read More

5 Ways to Optimize Manufacturing Supply Chain Management

Article | February 1, 2022

A strong supply chain in manufacturing reduces interruptions, which may cost delivery businesses substantial time and money, as well as degrade their brand. Maintaining consistency is important in any form of business. However, the important question that remains to be answered here is how to achieve consistency when the driving factors seem to be out of the company’s direct reach. “The future of manufacturing is a critical enabler of economies.” – Kathryn Wengel In this article, we'll highlight the five ways to create a strong supply chain that helps any business reduce the risk of disruption and, finally, cost. Furthermore, we will discuss the supply chain leader, Cisco Systems, and how it ranked first in the Gartner supply chain top 25 for 2021. How Supply Chain in Manufacturing Is Different A well-functioning organization requires an effective supply chain. However, supply chain management in manufacturing is even more vital. Below are the three reasons why supply chain management is different and vital in manufacturing. Products are more complex than they have ever been Brand owners no longer manufacture their own products Manufacturing is becoming more technologically advanced 5 Ways to Build a Strong Supply Chain Strengthen Your Relationships Strong relationships require both parties to be transparent and to continually aim for mutual benefit. Manufacturers in supply chain management must recognize the significance of building strong associations with vendors and should act likewise.The primary benefit of a great, healthy vendor relationship is that it enables you to maximize the value of your business. The more familiar you are with your suppliers, and the more familiar they are with you, the more likely you will receive personalized service, preferred pricing, and exclusive terms. Effective supplier connections assist your business in the following ways. Delivery of high-quality materials on time Production goes off without a hitch Take advantage of incredible deals Excellent service Saving your business time and money Expand Your Supply Chain Maintain good working relationships with multiple vendors to ensure the efficient operation of your supply chain. This encourages healthy competition, which might lead to reduced prices and better service. A diversified supply chain enables you to look outside the confines of your organization while also fostering innovation and more creative approaches. Diversification of your supply chain provides flexibility, allowing you to adapt to changing market trends and consumer expectations. By diversifying your regional supply base, you may be able to provide more competitive rates on a local level. Maintain Accurate Data Both you and your supplier will inevitably suffer losses if your numbers are incorrect. Make sure your estimates are based on correct data or numbers and that you've taken into account all possible demand scenarios before drawing them. Collaborate with suppliers in the formulation of projections using your strong supplier ties. Under-and over-delivery and over-stocking can be avoided, and the likelihood of higher freight charges for urgent orders can be decreased. Organize Integrated Systems To make informed decisions at all levels of your business, you need a system that collects, integrates, and analyzes data. Supply chain integration is the process of establishing coordination and expanding connectivity across the whole supply chain, from procurement to production planning to logistics. Advanced technological solutions have made supply chains more efficient and simplified than ever before. Software automation in supply chain management also helps in decreasing the stress on employees, minimizing errors, and improving resource utilization by utilizing high-quality software. Always Have a Plan B The risks associated with your supply chain can be reduced significantly, if not eliminated. An effective disaster recovery strategy is a contingency plan that must be prepared keeping in mind all the worst possibilities. There are numerous approaches to mitigating supply chain interruption, including regionalization, segmentation, and supply chain diversity. Cisco Systems Tops the Gartner Supply Chain Top 25 For the second consecutive year, Cisco Systems is ranked first in Gartner's supply chain top 25. In addition, Gartner reports that the IT company's agility and competency in environmental, social, and governance (ESG) efforts prioritized critical infrastructure for hospitals and vaccine research. Cisco's sustainability standards are integrated into its supply chain business processes to ensure continual improvement and the generation of significant change necessary to manage ESG. Cisco established two new targets for greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) reductions after reaching specific, ambitious targets one year ahead of schedule: A 30% reduction in supply chain GHG emissions, and by 2025, 80% of Cisco's component, manufacturing, and logistics suppliers will have a public GHG emissions reduction objective. Final Words A supply chain is a vital component of nearly all forms of business. If you are facing difficulty in effectively controlling your business's supply chain, consider the techniques suggested. The manufacturing supply chain process flow must be well-designed and well-executed to successfully complete the production cycle. Today's technology enables you to transform a complex supply chain into a simpler one that aids in risk anticipation and reduction. However, utilize this technology wisely and keep in mind that interpersonal relationships remain a critical component of supply chain success. FAQ How to build a strong supply chain? When developing a robust supply chain, flexibility, data, future thinking, integration, and innovation are some of the most significant factors to be kept in mind. Moreover, keeping a backup of everything is critical. What factors characterize a strong supply chain? Visibility, optimization, achieving the lowest feasible cost, punctuality, and consistency are key factors of a successful supply chain. What is supply chain manufacturing? In the manufacturing industry, the supply chain is responsible for facilitating the transfer and transportation of raw materials into finished products.

Read More

Computer Aided Manufacturing (CAM): Major Challenges and Their Solutions

Article | December 16, 2021

Computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) is a technology that revolutionized the manufacturing business. Pierre Bézier, a Renault engineer, produced the world's first real 3D CAD/CAM application, UNISURF CAD. His game-changing program redefined the product design process and profoundly altered the design and manufacturing industries. So, what is CAM in its most basic definition? Computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) is the application of computer systems to the planning, control, and administration of manufacturing operations. This is accomplished by using either direct or indirect links between the computer and the manufacturing processes. In a nutshell, CAM provides greater manufacturing efficiency, accuracy, and consistency. As technology takes over and enhances many of the processes we used to handle with manual labor, we are freed up to use our minds creatively, which leads to bigger and better leaps in innovation and productivity.” – Matt Mong, VP Market Innovation and Project Business Evangelist at Adeaca In light of the numerous advantages and uses of computer-aided manufacturing, manufacturers have opted to use it extensively. The future of computer-aided manufacturing is brightening due to the rapid and rising adoption of CAM. According to Allied Market Research, the global computer-aided manufacturing market was worth $2,689 million in 2020 and is expected to reach $5,477 million by 2028, rising at an 8.4% compound annual growth rate between 2021 and 2028. Despite all this, each new development has benefits and challenges of its own. In this article, we'll discuss the benefits of CAM, the challenges that come with it, and how to deal with them. Let's start with the advantages of computer-aided manufacturing. Benefits of Computer Aided Manufacturing (CAM) There are significant benefits of using computer-aided manufacturing (CAM). CAM typically provides the following benefits: Increased component production speed Maximizes the utilization of a wide variety of manufacturing equipment Allows for the rapid and waste-free creation of prototypes Assists in optimizing NC programs for maximum productivity during machining Creates performance reports automatically As part of the manufacturing process, it integrates multiple systems and procedures. The advancement of CAD and CAM software provides visual representation and integration of modeling and testing applications. Greater precision and consistency, with similar components and products Less downtime due to computer-controlled devices High superiority in following intricate patterns like circuit board tracks Three Challenges in CAM and Their Solutions We have focused on the three primary challenges and their solutions that we have observed. Receiving Incomplete CAD Updates Receiving insufficient CAD updates is one of the challenges. If, for example, the part update from a CAD engineer does not include the pockets that are required in the assembly, to the CAM engineer. SOLUTION: A modeler that enables developers of a CAM programs to create intuitive processes for features such as feature extraction and duplication across CAD version updates. A modeler is capable of recognizing and extracting the pocket's architecture and the parameters that define it. Additionally, the CAM application can enable the engineer to reproduce the pocket in a few simple steps by exploiting the modeler's editing features such as scaling, filling, extruding, symmetrical patterning, and removing. Last Minute Design Updates The second major challenge is last-minute design changes may impact manufacturers as a result of simulation. SOLUTION: With 3D software components, you may create applications in which many simulation engineers can work together to make design modifications to the CAD at the same time, with the changes being automatically merged at the end. Challenging Human-driven CAM Manufacturing The third major challenge we have included is that CAM engineers must perform manual steps in human-driven CAM programming, which takes time and requires expert CAM software developers. Furthermore, when the structure of the target components grows more complicated, the associated costs and possibility of human failure rise. SOLUTION: Self-driving CAM is the best solution for this challenge. Machine-driven CAM programming, also known as self-driving CAM, provides an opportunity to improve this approach with a more automated solution. Preparing for CAM is simple with the self-driving CAM approach, and it can be done by untrained operators regardless of part complexity. The technology handles all of the necessary decisions for CAM programming operations automatically. In conclusion, self-driving CAM allows for efficient fabrication of bespoke parts, which can provide substantial value and potential for job shops and machine tool builders. Computer Aided Manufacturing Examples CAM is widely utilized in various sectors and has emerged as a dominant technology in the manufacturing and design industries. Here are two examples of sectors where CAM is employed efficiently and drives solutions to many challenges in the specific business. Textiles Virtual 3D prototype systems, such as Modaris 3D fit and Marvellous Designer, are already used by designers and manufacturers to visualize 2D blueprints into 3D virtual prototyping. Many other programs, such as Accumark V-stitcher and Optitex 3D runway, show the user a 3D simulation to show how a garment fits and how the cloth drapes to educate the customer better. Aerospace and Astronomy The James Webb Space Telescope's 18 hexagonal beryllium segments require the utmost level of precision, and CAM is providing it. Its primary mirror is 1.3 meters wide and 250 kilograms heavy, but machining and etching will reduce the weight by 92% to just 21 kilograms. FAQ What is the best software for CAM? Mastercam has been the most extensively utilized CAM software for 26 years in a row, according to CIMdata, an independent NC research business. How CAD-CAM helps manufacturers? Customers can send CAD files to manufacturers via CAD-CAM software. They can then build up the machining tool path and run simulations to calculate the machining cycle times. What is the difference between CAD and CAM? Computer-aided design (CAD) is the process of developing a design (drafting). CAM is the use of computers and software to guide machines to build something, usually a mass-produced part.

Read More

The Factory of the Future

Article | December 2, 2021

The world of manufacturing is continuously evolving in the 21st century, and companies have to combat competition, altering consumer demands, and unexpected events to be able to deliver in today’s experience. Global connectivity, innovation, and disruption are all reshaping the manufacturing industry, but a world-class business platform can help companies transform operations digitally to keep up with an evermore digitized world. The factory of the future will allow manufacturers to enhance production through the convergence of information technology with factory operations, combining the effectiveness of the virtual world with the materiality of the physical world to lower costs, increase flexibility, and better meet customer expectations. The factory of the future functions on four dimensions: resource planning, manufacturing planning, planning and optimization, and manufacturing operations. Resource planning involves defining and simpulating the plant layout, flow, assets, and resources needed to efficiently develop products in a safe environment. Normal production change requests can be quickly validated by using 3D virtual experience twin technology. This technology could also quickly pivot operations to alternative products in the case of disruptive events. Manufacturing planning enriches the resource and product definition by defining and validating a process plan and creating work instructions that meet production goals. Digital visualization of resource and process changes can also help speed up time-to-production in any scenario no matter the location by leveraging the cloud. Planning and optimization of supply chains across planning horizons will help manufacturers gain visibility with planning and scheduling by having the ability to model, simulate, and optimize alternative supply and production plans to reduce disruptions. Lastly, manufacturing operations management can transform global production operations to attain and maintain operational excellence. Manufacturers can create, manage, and govern operational processes on a global scale while maintaining operational integrity to meet altering demands. For the factory of the future to come about successfully, there needs to be connected technology and shared data. Technology has to be adaptable with robotics and equipment that can be reconstructed to house changes and new products. An AI-powered product demand simulation is necessary to maintain agility and boost productivity. A versatile, cross-functional workforce with the ability to explicate data and function well in AR environments is also required along with smart factory technology such as wearable sensors and virtual prototypes. Through all this, the factory of the future can connect technologies across the product life cycle while optimizing the workforce and increasing sustainability. Although achieving the factory of the future has several benefits, creating a feasible factory of the future plan can be challenging. In 2018, only 12% of companies had a mature factory of the future plan. One of the main challenges that companies face is a lack of internal skills to devise digital solutions. However, this can be combated by carefully considering how you can utilize digital technologies to deliver improved performance, resiliency, and flexibility. It is easier to begin with small steps and to collaborate with a partner who could support your efforts to build toward your desired transformation goal. It is important to always be prepared by evaluating your next steps, industry trends, and progress metrics. It is also crucial to focus on the people, process, and technology you’re using to have a successful transformation journey. Manufacturing with the factory of the future can provide savings in a wide range of categories. For example, it can reduce virtual vehicles build time by 80%, increase on-time performance of industrial equipment by 45%, and reduce modular construction time of construction, cities, and territories by 70%. Leading the transformation of the manufacturing space towards the direction of the factory of the future will allow manufacturers to work smart and better meet the needs of the end consumers.

Read More

Spotlight

SST Sensing Ltd

At SST Sensing Ltd, our experienced and professional employees design and manufacture a range of Fluid and Gas Sensing Solutions and have supplied these products to industry for over 10 years.

Events