The adoption of additive manufacturing (AM) for production, including mission-critical aerospace applications, has seen significant growth, as the performance and cost benefits of AM are realized on next generation products and platforms. The development and deployment of an additive manufacturing digital thread (AMDTx) is required to sustain this growth by harnessing the power of Industry 4.0 and realizing value from AM data. This end-to-end AMDTx can accelerate additive manufacturing technology adoption by enabling access to data that demonstrates a repeatable and reliable process and enables decision making at the point-of-use. However, for the AMDTx to be efficient, a scalable architecture is needed across the entire supply chain, with the requisite standards and frameworks established to enable data stability, accessibility, and interoperability. This presentation will illustrate an integrated digital thread approach and showcase its implementation at Boeing. This end to end digital process includes design for additive manufacturing (DfAM), in-situ process monitoring, post processing and inspection, which will be elaborated upon using a representative application. The significance of the digital thread as it relates to the qualification of additively manufactured components will be demonstrated. Additionally, the development and implementation of a secure distributed manufacturing network to scale and expand the AMDTx will be discussed.
Director, Boeing Additive Manufacturing Intelligence CenterThe Boeing Company