ASC Shipbuilding, a subsidiary of BAE Systems Australia was contracted by the Department of Defence to design and build nine Hunter class frigates for the Royal Australian Navy. A commercial Manufacturing Evaluation Program program for additive manufacturing was thus initiated by the maritime manufacturer to test parts manufactured using AML3D’s proprietary WAM process, a type of large format wire arc AM for metals.
“We are pleased to commence this project with ASC Shipbuilding,” said Mr. Andrew Sales, AML3D’s Managing Director: “Having the stringent customer evaluation of AML3D’s proprietary wire additive manufacturing process will not only enhance the exposure of our technology for Marine and Defence applications, but the successful endeavor would lead to a sustainable local shipbuilding industry for future generations.”
In December 2018, ASC Shipbuilding was awarded the contract to design and build the nine Hunter class frigates for the Royal Australian Navy. To drive innovation, ASC Shipbuilding is focused on unearthing new technologies that maximize the cost-effectiveness of local manufacturing, while minimizing lead-times for ship sustainment within Australia. Through this endeavor, ASC Shipbuilding has identified AML3D’s Wire Additive Manufacturing (WAM) technology as a potential platform that could deliver such efficiencies and will undertake commercial evaluation and testing of WAM.
Under the initial commercial evaluation and validation testing program, AML3D will utilize WAM to produce various geometric parts in a range of metal alloys with the objective to meet BAE’s internal standards for additive manufactured components.
Results of testing will be used by ASC Shipbuilding to determine whether WAM is a suitable manufacturing solution to support the continuous naval shipbuilding and sustainment sovereign capability as laid out in the Australian Government’s Naval Shipbuilding Plan.
AML3D said it is confident that WAM will satisfy the stringent testing protocols for this initial stage evaluation. Given the scale of ASC Shipbuilding’s shipbuilding initiatives, progression to a commercial relationship would be of great significance to AML3D.