Optomec delivers a new metal additive system to a major aeronautical MRO supplier

Above: Gas engine being overhauled at an MRO installation / Image source: Optomec

Optomec, manufacturer of patented Aerosol Jet Systems for 3D printed electronics, and LENS, announcement delivery of a multifunctional metal additive system to a leading supplier of maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) for the aviation industry.

The user is an existing customer who has more than five Optomec metal additive systems in production to repair a variety of turbine components, from aircraft engines to industrial gas turbines. The new machine combines two manual turbine repair operations, not only reducing the cost of engine overhauls, but also improving the quality and consistency of these flight-critical procedures.

Metal additive system
Above: Optomec LENS 860 3D Metal Additive System / Image source: Optomec

Optomec’s proprietary process uses a combination of advanced machine vision, adaptive software, on-the-fly laser power tuning and automation to precisely add metal to worn engine components, restoring them to defined geometric specifications by 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 at approximately 100 maintenance, repair and overhaul facilities worldwide. . A single machine has the capacity to repair 10,000 turbine blades per year, and together Optomec users have performed production repairs on more than 10 million components over time. The global fleet of 25,000 commercial and 50,000 military aircraft has an overhaul time (TBO) of approximately 5,000 flight hours, creating a significant and growing demand for automated repair equipment. The Optomec metal additive system is currently certified for aircraft repair in 15 countries.

“There are really three advantages to using the Optomec AM process to repair turbine components. First of all, it saves time and money compared to manual repairs. Second, it requires much less heat input, so the base metal is much less affected by the repair. Finally, since the adaptive AM process adds less repair metal, downstream machining costs are significantly reduced.

– Jamie Hanson, Vice President of Business Development at Optomec

Optomec’s metal additive systems use a process called Directed Energy Deposition (DED) to build 3D metal parts by depositing powdered metal into a precisely controlled molten metal pool. Fiber optic lasers provide thermal power while advanced motion control systems produce required part geometries. Optomec is the DED market leader with over 200 DED machines in service.

About Optomec: Optomec is a rapidly growing private supplier of metal additive systems. Optomec’s patented aerosol spray systems for printed electronics and LENS and Huffman branded 3D printers for the production and repair of metal components are used by industry to reduce product cost and improve performance . Together, these unique printing solutions work with the widest range of functional materials, from electronic inks to structural metals and even biological material.

LENS is a registered trademark of Sandia National Labs; Aerosol Jet is a registered trademark of Optomec, Inc.


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