First Airline MRO to receive EASA approval to design, produce and certify 3D printed cabin parts
Etihad Engineering, the industry-leading Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) division of Etihad Aviation Group, has collaborated with EOS, the world’s leading technology supplier in the field of industrial 3D printing of metals and polymers, to open the region’s first additive manufacturing facility with design and production approval from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA).
The laboratory, located at the Etihad Engineering facility adjacent to Abu Dhabi International Airport, features the primary and recently installed powder-bed based polymer system EOS P 396from EOS for demanding high-performance and high-quality applications. In contrast to traditional manufacturing processes, it enables faster production and reduced weight of cabin parts.
Cabin of the future
As an MRO solutions provider committed to continuously enhancing the service value it offers to the market and its customers, this month, Etihad Engineering together with EOS, received one of the first airline MRO approvals from EASA for 3D printing using the powder-bed fusion technology which will be used to design, produce and certify additively manufactured parts for the aircraft cabin of the future.
Markus Glasser, Senior Vice President, Export Region at EOS, said: “Being committed to high-quality solutions and constant technology innovation, Etihad and EOS share the same mindset. Together, we want to bring the design and production of aircraft interior parts to the next level.” And he continues: “Producing cabin interior parts additively will offer a substantial value-add in terms of optimized repair, lightweight design, shorter lead times and customization, as such addressing some of the key challenges of the aerospace industry.”
Bernhard Randerath, VP Design, Engineering and Innovation, Etihad Engineering, added: “The launch of the new facility is in line with Etihad Engineering’s position as a leading global player in aircraft engineering as well as a pioneer in innovation and technology. We are extremely proud to collaborate with EOSto expand our capability and support the UAE’s strategy to increase production technology and cement its position as a global aerospace hub.
The facility was officially opened in a ceremony attended by His Excellency Ernst Peter Fischer, German Ambassador to the UAE in recognition of the relationship between Germany-based EOS and the UAE’s Etihad Engineering.
The EOS P 396 system
The newest system installed by EOS produces serial parts from polymer materials such as PA 2241 FR, and enables the manufacture of cabin parts for an aircraft’s heavy maintenance C-check.
Cabin defects can also be rectified within a short turnaround time which allows for the production of the required cabin parts during line maintenance.
The system operates with a total build volume of 340 mm x 340 mm x 600mm. The modular and highly productive system enables the tool-free manufacture of serial components, spare parts, functional prototypes and models directly from CAD data.