ECA Group has made partnership with Prodways, a French company and subsidiary of Groupe Gorgé, specialized in 3D printing for the industry. This partnership, which is part of the process of technological breakthrough in manufacturing methods, focuses firstly on production, inspection and maintenance tools. The development and completion of these tools, using the various available Additive Layer Manufacturing technologies, offer immediate benefits to the Aerospace sector, such as weight reduction; production cost savings and reduced manufacturing time.
This new technology strives for a smaller number of parts through the creation of shapes that were impossible to create through conventional machining processes until now. Furthermore, the use of new polymer materials not only removes the risk of damaging aircraft components, but also leads to operating gains through the reduction or even elimination of regular geometrical inspections. A first success was achieved through this collaboration. The tools manufactured are already being used in industrial operations on aeronautic production sites, and maintenance equipment (GSE) is being approved on aircraft prior to their implementation over the next few months.
An integrated industrial team, which comprises on the one hand ECA Group expert engineer teams developing aeronautic tooling solutions and, on the other hand, Prodways industrialization and production teams with more than 20 years’ experience in additive manufacturing, enables to guarantee the characteristics and performance expected from tooling solutions specific to 3D printing in the Aerospace sector. In addition, the fleet of 30 Prodways machines covering the various metal and polymer technologies currently available provides essential opportunities to use this new manufacturing method to optimize ECA Group’s Additive Layer Manufacturing solutions.