Oerlikon and Lufthansa Technik has today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to establish processes for additive manufacturing (AM) in aicraft MRO. Lufthansa Technik, subsidiary of the Lufthansa Group, provides maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) services for the aerospace industry. The partnership is an important step toward the industrialization of AM in the aircraft MRO industry and aims to take advantage of potential flexibility and cost savings in manufacturing, procurement, warehousing and supply chain management.

“We are confident that Oerlikon’s extensive expertise in additive manufacturing and the aerospace industry, combined with our proven ability to integrate solutions throughout the manufacturing value chain on a global scale will bring great benefits to Lufthansa Technik,” said Dr. Roland Fischer, CEO, Oerlikon Group.

“Lufthansa Technik is active in areas such as the cabin of the future, 3D printing, and Industry 4.0,” said Bernhard Krueger-Sprengel, vice president, Engine Services, at Lufthansa Technik. “We see the partnership with Oerlikon’s AM team as an exciting opportunity to accelerate Lufthansa Technik’s plan of having local AM repair capabilities on a global scale.”

Engine inspection on an Airbus A340-300

Oerlikon AM and Lufthansa Technik will build up representative component geometrics which will be printed on identical 3D printers using the same process parameters and powder specifications at Oerlikon AM Charlotte (North Carolina, USA), Oerlikon AM Barleben (Germany) and Lufthansa Technik in Hamburg (Germany).

“We look forward to strengthening our partnership with Lufthansa Technik and join forces to develop reliable, repeatable and quality-assured additive manufacturing processes, standards and products for the MRO industry,” said Dr. Roland Fischer.

The partnership is for a one-year period and may be extended to other 3D printer models as more data on manufacturing processes is collected. The study results will be shared with relevant industry bodies to help defining standards for the qualification and approval of aircraft components.