Things are slowly but surely moving forward in AM for aviation part production. After Tekna was approved as a Boeing materials supplier (BMS) for AM powders last year, Burloak Technologies Inc. has now been approved by The Boeing Company (BAC) to additively manufacture aluminum AlSi10Mg components to the newly developed Boeing BAC 5673 specification. Burloak Technologies is the world’s first additive manufacturer to achieve this qualification.
“This approval marks the completion of a qualification process that included a rigorous evaluation of Burloak’s capabilities by Boeing. We would like to thank Boeing’s additive manufacturing team for its collaborative approach,” stated Peter Adams, Burloak’s Founder and Chief Innovation Officer. “Together, we developed a well-defined specification that has demonstrated robust, repeatable processes to produce flight components using additive manufacturing.”
Standardization is a key element of BAC’s business strategy, and standardization in AM is particularly challenging since most processes involved are very recent. In general, Boeing provides an infrastructure to coordinate and establish a single set of Boeing standards requirements, ensures a link between standards activities and technology and business strategies, and ensures that the technical requirements are met by the standards they create.
Every Boeing product has standards that regulate its features, manufacture, and testing and operation, from basic materials to standards governing health, safety, and quality expectations. As Aviation Sourcing Solutions explains very clearly, Boeing creates its own set of standards for parts that it manufactures, denoted by the prefix BAC. They either develop it internally or go to an external organization to collaborate with the rest of the industry on a set of standards.
“Achieving this qualification further validates Burloak’s position as a global leader in the additive manufacturing space, and clearly demonstrates our ability to commercialize this transformational technology,” said Colin Osborne, Samuel’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “This milestone also signals the increasing importance of additive manufacturing within aerospace and represents a step forward on the path to a greener future for aviation.”
Burloak Technologies and Boeing are now working to apply the BAC 5673 specification to several programs for existing and future components.