Successful installation of AM powder recovery equipment for GKN Aerospace
Global aerospace supplier group GKN Aerospace is a leading manufacturing company, producing innovative systems and components for aircraft ranging from business jets, single-aisle aircraft, and large passenger planes.
Having previously purchased a Russell Compact Self-Loading Sieve™ for its electron beam melting additive manufacturing line, GKN Aerospace turned to Russell Finex again for a solution. As part of its journey into laser powder bed fusion technology, the company wished to further optimize its process and was recommended the innovative Russell AMPro® Sieve Station as the best machine to suit its needs.
When processing titanium powder and inconel powder, it is important that powder is qualified properly before and after use. The method originally used was labor intensive, time consuming, and presented serious manual handling issues. This included contamination concerns as a result of the powder being transferred to and from multiple containers and involved the risk of powder being lost. With the installation of two Russell AMPro® Sieve Stations, several problems and concerns were addressed for GKN Aerospace with regards to its powder handling process.
Importantly, the control offered by the Russell AMPro® Sieve Station, alongside the repeatability aspect of the powder handling process for GKN Aerospace has proved invaluable. The reuse and requalification of AM powder is a feature that is integral to its process. Since using the Russell AMPro® Sieve Station GKN Aerospace has made considerable gains, saving around three hours per build, in terms of efficiency, and allowing for guaranteed turnaround times improving GKN Aerospace’s efficiency. Furthermore, the potential for cross contamination of AM powder has been eliminated due to the O2 monitoring system, preserving the quality of powder alongside its vacuum conveying system. Moreover, the use of minimal contact parts ensures that the machine can be cleaned fast and effectively.
Concerns about operator safety were addressed with the installation of this innovative machine. Its one button automated system easily allowed for operators to walk away from the machine during the sieving process and allowed them to focus on other value-added tasks – such as working on preparing multiple builds. This minimized their exposure to powders whilst maximizing their safety.
With over 85 years’ experience in the manufacturing industry, Russell Finex has used its expertise and knowledge to develop the Russell AMPro® Sieve Station, alongside its brand-new range of additive manufacturing equipment. With a variety of AM powder handling solutions to suit a company’s every requirement, such as the Russell AMPro® Lab, Russell AMPro® Lite, and closed-loop systems, Russell Finex will continue to develop and expand its knowledge, adapting and ensuring it meets the needs of a new and growing industry.
What our clients say
“Using the AMPro has made the turnaround time for builds faster and more efficient. This has been a brilliant investment for our production process, as it has allowed our operators to concentrate on other tasks, speeding up our overall process and improving our material’s quality.”