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Production Control Software for the Rise of Additive Manufacturing

23 Oct 2017
Manufacturing
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23 Oct 2017

Production Control Software for the Rise of Additive Manufacturing

Powder batch traceability

The stringent controls within the aerospace sector mean that every batch of AM powder needs to be tracked throughout its entire lifecycle, through multiple blends, manufacturing builds and powder recovery, maintaining comprehensive chemical analysis at every stage. As powder hoppers are repeatedly emptied and filled, successive builds could be manufactured from many different blended powder batches. This creates a huge amount of work for companies to maintain full traceability and therefore the ability to streamline and digitise this process is a critical building block for the successful growth of additive manufacturing in the aerospace sector.

Production Control for AM

But this is only one aspect of the challenges with scaling additive manufacturing in the aerospace supply chain. There are many technical complexities and details to be recorded, and Valuechain’s DNAam has been designed to ease these difficulties. It simplifies AS9100 and NADCAP compliance, improves AM plant utilisation and generates business intelligence by streamlining complex additive manufacturing business processes through one integrated and user-friendly solution. Valuechain has successfully piloted the DNAam production control software with Airbus UK and additive manufacturing specialists Zenith Tecnica based in Auckland, New Zealand. DNAam integrates complex workflow and operations, such as build planning, comprehensive inventory management and the critical chemical analysis of powder batches and test pieces.

additive manufacturing software - powder traceability DNAam

Continued innovation

Tom Dawes, Valuechain CEO, said “DNAam addresses the significant technology gap that has emerged from the growing demand for additive manufacturing in the aerospace and defence industry. Our leadership team have decades of aerospace manufacturing experience and worked with many niche NADCAP special process companies. However, we needed to take a really innovative approach to solve the unique operational and technical intricacies of additive manufacturing. We are excited to be launching DNAam at the Paris Airshow this year, following several successful pilots with globally recognised aerospace companies.”

Specialising in titanium parts, Zenith Tecnica are one of the world’s leading additive manufacturing companies and they have assembled a team of experts that are continually researching and innovating new AM technologies to drive productivity. By implementing DNAam, Zenith have been able to simplify, standardise and systemise best practice additive manufacturing production control processes which is creating increased value for their customers.

Tom continued, “We are continually innovating new technologies for advanced manufacturing supply chains and we are delighted that DNAam has proven to be a game changing solution for our additive manufacturing clients”.

Over 500 satisfied customers

"The implementation process for DNA was very easy and within a few weeks we were fully operational with a much more comprehensive system. The support team at Valuechain go above and beyond. They are an extension of our team and are one of our competitive advantages."

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