Lloyd’s Register (LR) has awarded its first additive manufacturing facility qualification certificate to a facility that focuses on wire-arc technology, AML Technologies (AML) in Australia.
AML is an additive manufacturing service bureau printing parts using wire-arc additive manufacturing (WAAM). WAAM differs from powder-based additive manufacturing in that it uses wire as feedstock.
LR’s auditors carried out a full review of AML’s systems specific to the WAAM process, as well as a survey of the facility. The facility qualification includes a review of such areas as: material handling, personnel competence, build process control, health and safety, and control of non-conforming items.
AML approached LR for the certification based on LR’s early adoption and role in creating additive manufacturing-specific certifications along with its partner organization in additive manufacturing, TWI.
“Third-party inspection offers an un-biased advantage to potential customers wishing to build parts using AML’s process,” said Andy Sales, AML’s managing director. “That’s core to our values at AML. At the end of the day, the facility certification from LR will help provide awareness and assurance for customers to use AML for their OEM part and component type approval and qualification needs.”
Previous facility certifications from LR focused on powder-based AM processes and systems. However, powder-based AM processes are typically limited by the size of components that can be produced and available materials.
“These limitations have delayed the adoption of powder-based AM systems for marine and offshore industries,” said Hussain Quraishi, Strategic Projects Lead at LR’s Global Technology Centre in Singapore. “Using wire feedstock enables companies to produce larger component sizes with a wider selection of materials. Combined with the lower cost of wire feedstock, this unlocks significant potential for the marine and offshore industries in particular.”
LR performed the qualification using its “Guidance Notes for the Certification of Metallic Parts made by Additive Manufacturing,” a goal-based framework that brings independent certification to additively manufactured metal parts, material manufacturers, and facilities.
“From our humble beginnings, AML had set quality accreditation as a planned key milestone,” said Sales. “Our early engagement with LR for facility qualification was a very smooth and efficient process. We gained valuable knowledge and appreciated the solid foundation of LR’s highly experienced and enthusiastic surveyors and auditors. We are excited and look forward to working further with LR’s as our business grows.”
LR and its parent organization, the LR Foundation, have been involved in AM projects, funding independent research and insight into AM processes since 2014. LR is also involved in several working groups for international AM standards. It also certified the first 3D printed component for the oil and gas industry in 2017.