The EASA has granted approval to BAE Systems Regional Aircraft for a BAe 146 part manufactured using 3-D printing (“additive manufacture”) technology. The part is a plastic breather pipe that prevents fogging of cabin windows. The pipes were originally made by injection molding in plastic but the tooling is no longer available. Making new tooling would have cost almost $23,000 and taken several months, followed by two more months to produce the parts, according to BAE.
Chicago-based Dynomax has earned AS9100 Revision C quality certification. The company provides value-added engineering and high-precision machining, injection molding and tooling. “The primary differences between Rev B and Rev C is the inclusion of risk, project and configuration management, key process metrics, and expanded defense scope,” said Mike Martini, the company’s quality systems director.
In a continuing expansion of its presence in aerospace, UK firm ENL (Hall 4 Stand E14) has opened an injection molding center in Slovakia with the support of BAE Systems. The company supplies precision injection molded and machined components to Airbus, Thales, BAE Systems and Raytheon, and soon plans to begin manufacturing composite parts.
Plastic thermoforming specialist Dedienne Plasturgie, a sibling of Dedienne Aerospace, manufacturer of aircraft maintenance, tooling and ground support equipment, is in the business of replacing conventional aircraft metallic parts with plastic versions, integrating several functions. This translates into fewer, lighter parts.