Additive manufacturing company AML3D has begun a Manufacturing Evaluation Programme in the use of its proprietary automated 3D printing systems in the manufacture of parts for the Navy’s new Hunter-class frigates.
The programme, with BAE Systems Australia subsidiary, ASC Shipbuilding, brings together two Adelaide companies in the construction of nine frigates at Osborne on Adelaide’s Port River.
To drive innovation, ASC Shipbuilding is focused on unearthing new technologies that maximise the cost-effectiveness of local manufacturing, while minimising lead-times for ship sustainment within Australia.
ASC Shipbuilding has identified AML3D’s Wire Additive Manufacturing (WAM) technology as a potential platform that could deliver such efficiencies and will undertake its commercial evaluation and testing.
Under the initial commercial evaluation and validation testing programme, AML3D will utilise WAM to produce various geometric parts in a range of metal alloys with the objective to meet BAE’s internal standards for additive manufactured components.
AML3D is investing heaving to enlarge its factory at Edinburgh Parks in Northern Adelaide.
Results of testing will be used by ASC Shipbuilding to determine whether WAM is a suitable manufacturing solution to support the continuous naval shipbuilding and sustainment as laid out in the government’s Naval Shipbuilding Plan.
AML3D’s Managing Director Andrew Sales said: “Having the stringent customer evaluation of AML3D’s proprietary wire additive manufacturing process will not only enhance exposure of our technology for Marine and Defence applications, but the successful endeavour would lead to a sustainable local shipbuilding industry for future generations.”
AML3D is confident that WAM will satisfy ASC Shipbuilding’s testing protocols for this initial stage evaluation.
Given the scale of ASC Shipbuilding’s shipbuilding initiatives, progression to a commercial relationship would be of great significance to AML3D.
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