Premium AEROTEC welcomes Terry Wohlers and further expands its footprint in additive manufacturing

In the world of additive manufacturing he is both a legend and a visionary: Terry Wohlers understands the trends and the opportunities provided by this technology like no other. Now, he visited aerospace supplier Premium AEROTEC in Varel (Germany) to share his technological insights with an audience of more than 100 industry professionals related to 3D printing. Hosting that event underlines the companys growing position in the field of additive manufacturing.

In the context of the publication of the forthcoming edition of the Wohlers Report 2016 of additive manufacturing, Terry Wohlers indicated the most recent developments in this technology across all industries. This technology is breaking down the barriers of what can be produced.

“It is a special honour for Premium AEROTEC as an upcoming player in 3D printing to welcome Terry Wohlers in our new factory for additive manufacturing,” said Dr. Thomas Ehm, Chairman of the Board of Premium AEROTEC. “We have established the necessary industrial setup, started series production of the first 3D printed aerospace parts made from titanium and are approaching finalization of the general process qualification.”

For the aviation industry additive manufacturing is both an opportunity and a challenge, as new technology requires completely new supply chains. At present Premium AEROTEC is at the centre of a comprehensive network of equipment manufacturers, suppliers for materials and research institutions, and is extending its collaboration with these partners.

With 3D printing, Premium AEROTEC’s development and production capabilities have been significantly enhanced. Previously, metallic aerostructure components – from simple brackets to sophisticated tube systems – have been produced using machining or welding technologies. Premium AEROTEC’s competencies and industrial capacity enable the company to master the entire additive manufacturing process chain from initial design to the delivery of certified components. Currently, Premium AEROTEC is ramping up production for Airbus’ A400M programme. Since the German EASA body (LBA) has approved Premium AEROTEC’s additive manufacturing capabilities in March 2016, the production of serial parts with airworthiness certificate has officially started. The use of additive manufacturing brings savings in both time and costs: the reduction in production time results from combining the time-consuming former casting and welding processes into a single step.

Premium AEROTEC generated revenues of around 1.9 billion euros in 2014. The company’s core business lies in the development and production of metal and carbon fibre composite aircraft structures, as well as the associated equipment and production systems. The company has manufacturing sites in Augsburg, Bremen, Nordenham and Varel in Germany, as well as in Braşov in Romania.