Pratt & Whitney revealed the industrialization of the use of 3D-printing for an aero-engine component a first in the maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) of commercial engines. The 3D-printed part is projected to be part of the repair process by mid-2020 at Pratt & Whitney’s repair specialist in Singapore, Component Aerospace Singapore.
“To 3D print an aero-engine component for a working air turbine engine is a first for us. This also demonstrates our advanced capability to offer a full turnkey manufacturing solution which not only includes production-level 3D printing, but also post processes such as heat treatment and machining. Our customers expect high standards of quality from us. For this project, we are able to deliver an aerospace component that meets not only the high quality standards required, but also the stringent requirements by the aviation authorities,” said Tan Chor Kiat, senior vice president, Kinetics Design & Manufacturing, ST Engineering.
This innovative approach was the result of an integrative effort between Pratt & Whitney’s engineering experts, its repair specialist Component Aerospace Singapore, in collaboration with the Land Systems arm of ST Engineering, to deliver faster and flexible repair solutions to support Pratt & Whitney engines.
“3D printing will be a game-changer for the MRO industry worldwide, especially in servicing even more commercial engines. This technology enables greater flexibility in our inventory management. Following this trailblazing initiative, both Pratt & Whitney and ST Engineering will examine how additive manufacturing can be applied for other aviation components and other engine types, and further developed to enable hybrid repairs and realize the full potential of 3D printing for commercial aftermarket operations,” said Chin-Huat Sia, principal engineer, Component Aerospace Singapore.