Airbus will deploy the latest version of Sigma Labs’ PrintRite3D quality assurance hardware and software in a test and evaluation programme.
This partnership comes months after Sigma Labs joined the Fraunhofer IAPT Additive Alliance network, of which Airbus is also involved with.
The aircraft company will analyse the performance of PrintRite3D V 5.0 in the monitoring and characterisation of materials, machine processes and production consistency in an additive manufacturing workflow. It will be working towards qualifying a metal powder bed fusion system for serial production and demonstrate the ability of Sigma Labs’ technology to warn of process discontinuities, allowing for data to be extracted, and the process restored.
These In-Process-Quality-Assurance (IPQA) capabilities are Sigma Labs’ signature features of the PrintRite3D technology. Since aircraft parts of all kinds need to have their quality assured before installation, Sigma Labs believes gives IPQA gives it a big play in the aerospace market. The company is hoping the test and evaluation programme with Airbus will prove the value-add of PritnRite3D’s IPQA features, which includes providing knowledge around melt pool dynamics to facilitate an improved process consistency and ensuring process quality by identifying process defect thermal signatures.
Sigma Labs will work closely with Airbus on the project, not just supplying the technology, and training and services, but having its engineering team work closely with the company.
“We are honoured and, indeed, feel very privileged to have our In-Process-Quality-Assurance tools, as well as engineering staff, engaged with Airbus, a leading aircraft manufacturer,” John Rice, Chairman and CEO of Sigma Labs. “PrintRite3D INSPECT 5.0 provides the market with a user-friendly experience to rapidly qualify an AM metal machine for serial production, and then, in the course of continuous production runs, to be able to warn process engineers of ‘signature’ precursors of process discontinues and this enable them to extract actionable data to restore the process. Our industry appears to be accelerating in its sophisticated quality requirements including highly accurate and economic third-party quality assurance. We at Sigma have committed ourselves to meet that need.”