OEM : Aerospace
Boeing is the world’s largest aerospace company and leading manufacturer of commercial jetliners, defense, space and security systems, and service provider of aftermarket support. As America’s biggest manufacturing exporter, the company supports airlines and U.S. and allied government customers in more than 150 countries. Boeing products and tailored services include commercial and military aircraft, satellites, weapons, electronic and defense systems, launch systems, advanced information and communication systems, and performance-based logistics and training.
From Boeing Starliner to Goodyear tire, 3-D printing is becoming manufacturing reality
By 2030, Goodyear aims to bring maintenance-free and airless tires to market, and 3-D printing is part of that effort for the Akron-based tire-making leader founded in 1898 and named after innovator Charles Goodyear. Currently, about 2% of its production is through additive manufacturing and more integration into the mix is in sight.
Humtown Products, a 63-year-old, family-owned foundry near Youngstown, Ohio, adopted 3-D printing in 2014 as an efficient way to make industrial cores and molds. Today, its additive manufacturing division accounts for 55% of overall revenue and is growing by 50% annually. Pivoting to 3-D printing was the company’s “Kodak moment,” said owner and president Mark Lamoncha. “If you are not in the next space, you are out of business,” Lamoncha said. “This industry is at a tipping point to commercialization and in many disciplines it is the equivalent of driving a race car,” he said.
“For industry, it’s most definitely a competitive advantage because you can design in ways that you can’t with traditional production,” said Melissa Orme, has been vice president of additive manufacturing since 2019, a role that cuts across Boeing’s three business units making commercial airplanes, satellites and defense systems. She works with a team of 100 engineers, researchers and other specialists in advancing the technology’s development. Orme cited advantages in reduced lead times for production by a factor of ten, streamlined design into one large piece for assembly, and increased durability.
Blackhorn Ventures Leads Datch's Series A with $10 Million Investment
In just a few years, we have rapidly expanded, introducing our technology into Fortune 500 and other industry-leading enterprises, and now work with a range of sectors: utilities, energy, manufacturing, mining, and aviation. Continuing with this momentum, we are proud to announce our latest funding round of $10 million. Blackhorn Ventures, an Industry 4.0 fund investing in software companies redefining the industrial sector, led the capital raise, which was also supported by Blue Bear Capital, Boeing HorizonX, Park Partners, Lorimer Ventures, and others.
The funding will be used to expand Datch’s platform capabilities, introduce new integration tools, and scale our enterprise operations and support. Our goal is to provide our customers with the toolkit to map their unique processes and connect Datch to their systems-of-record with ease.
Boeing backed AI Build scoops $3.2M to revolutionise large scale 3D printing industry
The AI SaaS company Ai Build has just recently announced closing a $3.2M funding round. Its platform assists manufacturers in employing the additive manufacturing process to maximise their efficiency. The funding was led by ACT Venture Partners and existing investor SuperSeed. The intelligent software platform makes use of advanced geometrical analysis, real-world data analytics and physics simulations to automatically adapt and optimise the production of parts across different machines in large enterprises.
Boeing Bionics Allow Teammates to Suit up for Safety
In Boeing’s commercial division, the exoskeleton vest is in use or planned for use as personal protective equipment in the 737, 767, 777 and 787 Dreamliner programs. Teams at a number of Boeing sites have tested the vest since 2018. It is rolling out as an innovative enterprise standard tool designed to lessen the pressure mechanics bear as they work repetitive jobs at chest level and above.
“When you activate the vest, it’s somewhere between 5 to 18 pounds (2 to 8 kilograms) offloaded from the wearer,” said Dr. Christopher Reid, a Boeing engineer and Associate Technical Fellow who specializes in ergonomics and wearable technology. “It reduces the stress on the shoulders and ultimately reduces injuries.”
Digital twins improve real-life manufacturing
Real-world data paired with digital simulations of products—digital twins—are providing valuable insights that are helping companies identify and resolve problems before prototypes go into production and manage products in the field, says Alberto Ferrari, senior director of the Model-Based Digital Thread Process Capability Center at Raytheon.
The concept has started to take off, with the market for digital-twin technology and tools growing by 58% annually to reach $48 billion by 2026, up from $3.1 billion in 2020. Using the technology to create digital prototypes saves resources, money, and time. Yet the technology is also being used to simulate far more, from urban populations to energy systems to the deployment of new services.
Boeing wants to build its next airplane in the metaverse
In Boeing Co’s factory of the future, immersive 3-D engineering designs will be twinned with robots that speak to each other, while mechanics around the world will be linked by $3,500 HoloLens headsets made by Microsoft.
Boeing’s holy grail for its next new aircraft is to build and link virtual three-dimensional “digital twin” replicas of the jet and the production system able to run simulations. The digital mockups are backed by a “digital thread” that stitches together every piece of information about the aircraft from its infancy - from airline requirements, to millions of parts, to thousands of pages of certification documents - extending deep into the supply chain. Overhauling antiquated paper-based practices could bring powerful change. More than 70% of quality issues at Boeing trace back to some kind of design issue, Hyslop said. Boeing believes such tools will be central to bringing a new aircraft from inception to market in as little as four or five years.
Aerospace, Defense and Industry 4.0
“Designing for manufacturability, modeling the production environment, and then producing our products with a minimum of duplicated effort—this can give us the breakthroughs in speed and affordability that the A&D environment needs in a time of limited budgets and rapidly changing threats,” explains Daughters. “These technologies are an essential component to our ‘digital thread’ across the product life cycle. They give us the ability to simulate tradeoffs between capability, manufacturability, complexity, materials and cost before transitioning to the physical world.”
“In a nutshell, I4.0 involves leveraging technology to better serve the world,” says Matt Medley, industry director for A&D manufacturing at IFS, a multinational enterprise software company. “More than just collecting and processing mounds of data via sensors and the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), I4.0 is turning data into actionable intelligence to not only drive efficiency and grow profits, but to also help companies be good stewards of our natural resources and local communities. Aerospace and defense companies whose enterprise software can keep pace with developments like additive manufacturing, AI, digital twins, and virtual and augmented reality (V/AR) are the ones that will thrive in an increasingly digital 4.0 era.”
3D Printing Technologies in Aerospace and Defense Industries
Currently, AI is an integral part of the design process for AM in aerospace. In designing parts for aircraft, achieving the optimal weight-to-strength ratio is a primary objective, since reducing weight is an important factor in air-frame structures design. Today’s PLM solutions offer function-driven generative design using AI-based algorithms to capture the functional specifications and generate and validate conceptual shapes best suited for AM fabrication. Using this generative functional design method produces the optimal lightweight design within the functional specifications.
GE to advance competitiveness of wind energy with 3D printed turbine blades
The project will initially produce a full-size 3D printed blade tip for structural testing, in addition to three blade tips to be installed on a wind turbine, with the hope of reducing manufacturing cost and increasing supply chain flexibility for the components.
“We are excited to partner with the DoE Advanced Manufacturing Office, as well as with our world class partners to produce a highly innovative advanced manufacturing and additive process to completely revolutionize the state of the art of wind blade manufacturing,” said Matteo Bellucci, GE Renewable Energy’s Advanced Manufacturing Leader.
Boeing Tests Augmented Reality in the Factory
Installing electrical wiring on an aircraft is a complex task that leaves zero room for error. That’s why Boeing is testing augmented reality as a possible solution to give technicians real-time, hands-free, interactive 3D wiring diagrams - right before their eyes.
“Our theory studies have shown a 90 percent improvement in first-time quality when compared to using two-dimensional information on the airplane, along with a 30 percent reduction in time spent doing a job.”