Norsk Titanium's novel technique enables lower lead times, lean manufacturing, and significantly less titanium use and machining, leading to waste reduction
SANTA CLARA, California, Oct. 24, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Based on its recent analysis of the titanium alloy additive manufacturing industry, Frost & Sullivan recognizes Norsk Titanium AS (Norsk) with the 2017 Europe Technology Innovation Award for its novel Rapid Plasma Deposition™ (RPD™) technology that allows applications in numerous industries for the production of complex and high-strength products with high material property requirements. As a result of the Norsk-developed RPD™ technology, Norsk is a qualified aerospace supplier of structural titanium 3-D manufactured parts.
Many scientists believe that titanium is the metal of the future. Due to its high strength, light weight, and compatibility with carbon fiber, titanium alloys have found applications in aircraft construction by offering energy efficiency, safety, and rigidity.
"The conventional manufacturing techniques of titanium result in output with reduced tool life, increased material spring back, and large amounts of metal scrap. A technology that could improve the existing situation is welcome and would make a great mark in the industry," said Ranjana Lakshmi, Research Analyst at Frost & Sullivan.
To address the aforementioned challenges faced by conventional titanium alloy manufacturing technologies, Norsk, a Norway-based additive manufacturing company, developed the novel titanium alloy additive manufacturing technique termed RPD™ technology.
The RPD™ additive manufacturing technology can fabricate titanium alloy structural components with high material and metallurgical integrity. In addition, this technology has the following advantages:
- It has very high deposition rates
- It reduces the use of titanium by 40% to 80%, significantly reducing scrap rate and overall cost
- It can print both small-scale and large-scale components
The Norsk developed additive manufacturing Merke-IV™ RPD™ machine, or 3-D printer, represents a revolutionary change in the additive manufacturing industry because it addresses the challenges currently associated with additive manufacturing of structural titanium alloys parts. While the RPD™ technology produces a homogenous titanium structure using wire and plasma torches in an Argon environment, the Merke-IV™ RPD™ machine, aided by tight process control, rapidly and precisely builds up near-net-shape parts by depositing layers of molten titanium. Due to the improvement in near-net-shape, minimal machining is required. Each machine is estimated to have an annual fabricating capacity of more than 20 metric tons.
"Norsk's RPD™ additive manufacturing technology serves the growing demands of customization and complexity offering a distinct advantage over conventional competitors by providing market participants with increased freedom of design and rapid prototyping capability in addition to cost and lead time advantage," said Lakshmi.
Norsk's RPD™ technology is a modular manufacturing capability that can be integrated into any production line that manufactures titanium alloy parts. The flexibility offered by RPD™, allows for lean manufacturing infrastructure and overall efficiency improvements from a producer's perspective.
The titanium alloy manufacturing market increasingly requires manufacturing technologies with the ability to manufacture complex designs at fast speeds and with short lead times to reduce cost, and with overall improved environmental footprint, all while maintaining the mechanical properties of the alloy. Norsk's RPD™ additive manufacturing technique meets these needs and offers advantages over conventional and additive manufacturing competitors. For these reasons, Norsk has earned Frost & Sullivan's 2017 Europe Technology Innovation Award.
Each year, Frost & Sullivan presents this award to the company that has developed a product with innovative features and functionality that is gaining rapid acceptance in the market. The award recognizes the quality of the solution and the customer value enhancements it enables.
Frost & Sullivan Best Practices awards recognize companies in a variety of regional and global markets for demonstrating outstanding achievement and superior performance in areas such as leadership, technological innovation, customer service, and strategic product development. Industry analysts compare market participants and measure performance through in-depth interviews, analysis, and extensive secondary research to identify best practices in the industry.
About Norsk Titanium AS
Norsk Titanium AS is the world's pioneering supplier of aerospace-grade, additive manufactured, structural titanium components. The company is distinguished in the aviation industry by its patented Rapid Plasma Deposition™ (RPD™) process that transforms titanium wire into complex components suitable for structural and safety-critical applications. Norsk Titanium is a tier-1 supplier to Boeing and is committed to cost-reducing aerostructures and jet engines for the world's premier aerospace manufacturers. RPD™ is the world's first FAA-approved, 3D-printed, structural titanium, delivering substantial lead-time and cost savings for aerospace, defense, and commercial customers. www.norsktitanium.com
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SOURCE Frost & Sullivan