Aerospace Pre-Production Project
Rolls-Royce and the MTC collaboratively designed, set-up, and operated an additive manufacturing pre-production facility that supplied all of the titanium Engine Section Stator (ESS) components required for the Ultrafan™ Engine development programme.
With the launch of the UltraFan™ Engine development programme (EDP), Rolls-Royce identified Electron Beam Melting (EBM) as the lead technology for production of Engine Section Stator (ESS) components. The UltraFan™ engine will deliver further fuel efficiency and CO2 reductions, and provide a significant reduction in engine noise.
Building on the experience of a previous EBM programme with Rolls-Royce, the MTC were able to launch a pre-production facility in tight timescales that would enable delivery of the 240 Engine Section Stators required for the UltraFan™ EDP.
- Created a 4500ft2 AM production cell that included: AM build workshop (housing six Arcam Electron Beam Melting machines running Ti6Al4V), powder handling, post processing, inspection, and office space.
- Developed a method of manufacture and a traceability management system, from powder to part, suitable for flight trials.
- Embedded an integrated project team with the machine manufacturer, the MTC and Rolls-Royce working together.
- Used technical expertise to solve AM process challenges to enable doubling of part size leading to part consolidation and enhanced part functionality.
- Initial part optimisation, cell refit, operational ramp up and ESS component production run completed over a three year period.
- Tens of thousands of equipment run hours with extensive data capture.
- Delivered 240 aerospace standard components complete with full traceability for the flying test bed programme.
Benefits To The Client
- Rapid scale up of production capability to meet complex customer requirements.
- Full method of manufacture based on-site, with relevant process experts on hand across the full AM process chain.
- Fast iteration and design change implementation throughout project.
- Customer based on-site working hand in hand with NCAM team, enabling enhanced knowledge transfer.
Great teamwork between the MTC and Rolls-Royce is what made this project such a success. The challenge of building such large parts with EBM should not be underestimated!
Alan Pardoe, Partnership Manager, Rolls-Royce