Additive manufacturing (AM) has rapidly evolved since its inception, and investment in AM technology has flourished in both the public and private sectors. This article, the second and final in this series, illustrates some appropriate applications that have already affected or could affect forging processes and markets.
In Part 1 of this article, I drew on the notion of time travel from the 1985 movie Back to the Future to explore the accuracy of predictions made in my article from the August 2012 issue of FORGE. Without the fictional flux capacitor, which enabled time travel in the DeLorean time machine used in the movie, we will continue this analysis of the predictions regarding AM prototyping and forging and AM short-run production and forging.
Additive manufacturing (AM) has rapidly evolved since its inception, and investment in AM technology has flourished in both the public and private sectors. This article, the first of two parts, evaluates predictions made in FORGE in 2012 and illustrates some appropriate applications that could affect (or already have affected) forging processes and markets.
China’s Wuxi Paike New Materials Technology Co. placed an order with SMS group for what will allegedly be the world's largest ring-rolling machine for manufacturing aircraft engine components. According to SMS group, it is the first ring-rolling machine in the world capable of rolling jet engine rings with a maximum height of up to 1,500 mm (59 inches). This dimensional capacity will enable Wuxi Paike to efficiently manufacture the rings required for the next generations of jet engines. Commissioning of the new mill is expected in the fourth quarter of 2021.
SMS group received a contract from Avic Guizhou Anda Aviation Forging Co. to supply an additional ring-rolling machine. It will be installed at the company’s plant in Anshun, China. Production is scheduled for mid-2019. The new ring-rolling machine is capable of rolling seamless rings with diameters up to 98.5 inches (2,500 mm) and a maximum height of 31.5 inches (800 mm).