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James Logan

The MTC

DRAMA - Enabling Adoption of Additive for Aerospace

For the UK’s aerospace sector to take a leading position in the exploitation of AM, capability must be developed and deployed throughout the UK supply chain – both within the existing suppliers and also by supporting additive manufacturing firms to gain entry to the aerospace sector. The barriers are significant: cost of capital investment is high, maturity of technologies varies, readiness of primes to act as intelligent customers, high level of quality and regulations to supply into aerospace. However, the adoption of additive is progressing with companies further down the supply chain exploring the potential of additive for their businesses.

Through a £14.3m project called DRAMA, a consortium led by the UK’s National Centre for Additive Manufacturing is developing tools and building facilities to help UK companies gain competitive advantage in the aerospace and additive manufacturing supply chains.

The 3-year project started in November 2017. This presentation will give an update on progress at the midway point.

With insights from leading aerospace airframers, engine and system manufacturers, DRAMA will enable supply chain companies to:

• Access facilities where they can learn how to accelerate establishment of the AM process chain – from printing to inspection – to aerospace standards.

• Access digital tools to support product and process optimisation.

• Road test training.

• Road test expert support packages, which will help them understand the opportunity, to develop their business case and to develop their processes.

• Access know-how via an online portal – the Knowledge Hub - for additive manufacturing resources.

The new facilities being built at the Manufacturing Technology Centre, Coventry will house a range of metal powder bed technologies and post processing. The facilities will be digitally twinned to help companies rapidly optimise their products and processes.

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