19–22 August 2019
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Additive Manufacturing Streamlines Processes for Manufacturers

Posted: 11 July 2018, 8:30 p.m. EDT
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Panelists:
Christine Furstoss, vice president of engineering and technology, GE Additive; Christopher Schuppe, general manager, AddWorks, GE Additive; Paul Riehle, executive director for computer-aided and noise and vibration engineering, Roush Industries; Dean Hackett, vice president, Americas, Praxair Surface Technologies; Sean Brown, engineering director for additive, Eaton Aerospace

by Hannah Thoreson, AIAA social media content specialist

Additive manufacturing — a hot topic for the past several years — is transforming processes and business models for aerospace manufacturers, a panel of experts said July 11 during the “Additive Manufacturing” session at the 2018 AIAA Propulsion and Energy Forum in Cincinnati.

Christine Furstoss, vice president of engineering and technology at GE Additive, shared one example.

“Additive can disrupt the chain of many different parts having to be kitted, because now we can print them as just one part,” she explained. “If you have less parts, if those parts can be better integrated, if we can design out some parts that may have limited life because of joints or failure, we can redesign our business model.”

Christopher Schuppe, general manager of AddWorks at GE Additive, cautioned that building a business case for additive manufacturing is important.

“We hear a lot: ‘Last year I had the budget to buy a machine, so I bought a machine, and now I have a machine,’ but they don’t have a business case,” he said. “People don’t think about that business case upfront and develop that before they go jump into it and do additive.”

For Sean Brown, engineering director for additive at Eaton Aerospace, the value in additive manufacturing lies in power management.

“The value that we look at is, how can we as Eaton produce a component that essentially delivers more value to our end customer in terms of reduced power consumption,” he said.

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Participants in the panel discussion “Additive Manufacturing,” July 11 at the 2018 AIAA Propulsion and Energy Forum in Cincinnati.

Dean Hackett, vice president for the Americas with Praxair Surface Technologies, compared additive manufacturing to older methods of doing the same tasks.

“We have to take the lessons that we’ve learned in the welding industry and lessons that we’ve learned in the additive industry and combine that with materials science,” he said.

Hackett also said he believes additive manufacturing provides many advantages over other technologies.

“From a materials standpoint, it’s easier for us because the same processes that were used years ago are still used in additive,” he said. “But they’ve become much more precise, much more repeatable and much higher quality.”  


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