Optomec delivers $1m metal 3D printing system to existing customer

Optomec has delivered a $1 million additive manufacturing system for the production repair of aircraft turbine components to an existing customer.

The user already operates more than five Optomec Metal Additive systems to support its repair of aircraft and industrial gas turbines. It has now added a machine that combines two turbine repair process operations that are typically done manually, which is said to help reduce the cost of engine overhauls while improving the quality and consistency of flight-critical procedures.

Optomec’s metal additive repair systems lean on the Directed Energy Deposition (DED) and are deployed in around 100 Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) installations across the world. Each machine has the capacity to repair tens of thousands of turbine blades annually, with Optomec reporting that it had surpassed 10 million turbine blade refreshments last August. Such capabilities have led the United States Air Force to award two contracts to Optomec amounting to $1.5m in September 2020 and June 2021, and has also attracted one existing customer to further increase their turbine repair capabilities.  

“There are really three advantages to using the Optomec AM process for repairing turbine components,” commented Jamie Hanson, Optomec’s VP of Business Development. “First of all, it saves time and cost relative to manual repairs. Secondly, it requires far less heat input, so the base metal is far less affected by the repair. Finally, because the adaptive AM process adds less repair metal, the downstream machining costs are drastically reduced.”

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