Last week, Valuechain attended the Additive Manufacturing Technology Applications in Aircraft, Space Vehicles and Defense Seminar in Bangalore, India. The seminar focused on the evolution of Additive Manufacturing technologies and how it has changed the face of direct, digital technologies for the rapid production of models, prototypes, patterns and functional parts including repair and maintenance.
Organised by the Society of Indian Aerospace Technologies & Industries (SIATI) & the Additive Manufacturing Society of India (AMSI), the seminar brought together key decision makers from a variety of stakeholders in the success of additive manufacturing. Everyone from R&D organisations, academic institutions, design development, quality certification agencies and Indian industries attended, to discuss the exciting new technology in the aerospace and defense sector.
Who we met
We wasted no time getting to know the important influencers in the sector, hearing from Efesto-3DP, a US-based Indian origin entrepreneur, whose team are currently working with the Indian government to help push AM technology in to defence production. They shared a study with us, which predicted that AM will make up 75% of the total aero market in the next 10 years and about 90% in the next 20 years.
Another company speaking was Intech-DMLS, who shared their journey in the Indian market. They explained they were the first AM services company to start operations in India and today, apart from providing prototyping and manufacturing services to a variety of clients, they also do projects with GE Power to research the ability to use AM technology in repair and overhaul of engine/turbine components and nozzles.
However, perhaps the most interesting interaction we had was with Jvotish Kumar, President of AMSI. It was great to understand how he sees additive manufacturing becoming prevalent in India, and some of the current challenges they are facing.
What we learnt
Not only did we meet with specialists from across the industry, we also learnt so much about the advancements in AM, as well as the challenges companies are facing. We gained a deeper understanding of the industry’s perspective on these advancements, particularly those in India.
Many companies we spoke to seemed to think that AM is most effective when they need to produce a small amount of detailed, complex parts. Previously, the parts companies produced actually generated a lot of waste and lost them money, whereas even though they need to invest money in to AM, the reduction of waste means they’re making use of everything they’ve spent money on and are getting more out of it. This is why many companies in the UK are using AM, because it’s so cost effective.
However, we discovered that many Indian companies are uncertain in the cost model, and are hesitant to take a risk on additive manufacturing as they’re unsure on whether it will benefit them with any Return-on-investment (ROI). Cost in India is usually calculated by man hours, not by how much the product will make at market. So, since these advanced machines will be able to work for days without any human interference, the benefits are hard to calculate and some are left wondering, is it worth risking it?
This is where we realised our production control software for Additive Manufacturing, DNAam can help. DNAam can visually monitor and trace powder movement, so ROI will be easier to measure. Therefore, not only will DNAam bring down operations cost, it can help companies optimise this process and get as much out of it as possible, whilst saving them money.
Coming away from the seminar, Valuechain feel refreshed with not only a greater knowledge of how Additive Manufacturing is advancing in India, but also a greater perspective on how companies are viewing these advancements and challenges. We’re looking forward to discovering where AM goes in India and to see how DNAam can provide help for those needing it.
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