Avio Aero to make 3D-Printed components for Advanced TurboProp engine
Avio Aero, a GE Aviation business that designs, builds and maintains aviation engines, will produce, at its Brindisi plant, the additive-manufactured components of the General Electric ATP (Advanced Turboprop) engine, for the General Aviation market. The additive manufacturing machines will be installed at the Brindisi facility from 2018 and the first production activities will start between the end of 2018 and the beginning of 2019.
The ATP, an all-European project led by the Centre of Excellence for engine development established in Italy, is the first turboprop to include 3D-printed parts: 13 components, ranging from the combustion chamber to various structural elements, which have reduced the total number of parts in the engine by about 30%.
After Cameri (Novara), which specializes in additive manufacturing using the EBM (electron beam melting) technology, Brindisi is the second Avio Aero plant to adopt an additive process, although this time using DMLM (direct metal laser melting).
The use of additive manufacturing has simplified the engine’s design, with fewer parts and solutions not feasible with conventional technologies, and also produced a lighter, more compact unit.
The Italian Government is considering additive manufacturing as one of the most important enabling technologies to address the aims and objectives pursued under the National Industry 4.0 Plan launched at the end of 2017. In fact, the Italian Ministry of Economic Development has undertaken actions to support Avio Aero’s initiative in Brindisi as part of a broader investment project proposed by Avio Aero that is being regarded as a significant contribution to the digital transformation of the manufacturing industry in Italy.
“Additive manufacturing is one of the enabling technologies in which Avio Aero is investing,” declared Riccardo Procacci, Avio Aero Chairman and CEO. “It’s now more than 10 years since we built the first prototypes, and today at Cameri – and soon also at Brindisi – we are using this technology to produce extremely innovative and, above all competitive, aviation engine components. Avio Aero is very proud of its achievements in this area. They would not have been possible without the priceless know-how developed by our engineers at Cameri, merged with the excellent reputation and commitment of our Brindisi employees. The fruitful network of partnerships Avio Aero constantly cultivates with the central and local Institutions, Universities and Research Centers has also been fundamental in creating the right conditions for this to come about.” Read more
Source: Avio Aero press release