Production of the 787 vertical fin at the Boeing Frederickson Composite Manufacturing Center in Frederickson, Wash. PHOTO: The Boeing Co.Click image to enlargeBurlington Ont.’s Burloak Technologies Inc. has become the world's first additive manufacturer to be approved to manufacture metal parts to Boeing’s specifications. 

Burloak, a division of Samuel, Son & Co., Ltd., has been approved by The Boeing Co. to additively manufacture aluminum AlSi10Mg components to the Boeing BAC 5673 specification.

"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," said 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."

Burloak Technologies and Boeing are now working to apply the BAC 5673 specification to several programs for existing and future components.

"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."

Metal powder

The approval comes on the heels of Boeing’s approval of aluminum powder for additive manufacturing produced by Tekna, an advanced materials company located in Quebec.

Tekna gained approval from the aircraft manufacturer in July 2020.

Tekna developed high quality powders dedicated to additive manufacturing applications. The powders provide high flowability, high density and high purity at controlled production costs, properties which were achieved using Tekna’s patented RF Plasma Technology, which the company has been developing and iterating upon for 30 years.

“Tekna is proud to meet Boeing’s demanding BMS specification and to be its first qualified powder manufacturer for BMS Titanium (Ti64) and BMS Aluminum (AlSi10Mg). Furthermore, Tekna manages a robust supply chain, from ingot to packaged spherical powders, thus ensuring reliable supply and material traceability” says Luc Dionne, CEO at Tekna.

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SMTCL invests in North American manufacturing

SMTCL is the latest machine tool builder to announce it's investing in manufacturing in North America.

Most recently, DMG MORI opened its manufacturing facility in Davis, CA. And Haas, which has always manufactured its machines in California at a 1 million sq ft facility, recently announced its intention to expand its facility to accommodate growing machine tool demand. Mazak Corp., which has been manufacturing in North America for 40 years, has expanded its manufacturing operations 15 times, most recently in 2012 with a 200,000 sq ft addition, increasing its total floor space to 800,000 sq ft.

SMTCL's COO Jerry McCarty says SMTCL, considered among the world's largest machine tool builders, will be manufacturing in the US by the end of 2015.

A manufacturing factory in North America will complement SMTCL's current manufacturing facilities in Europe (Germany) and Asia (China). "The United States was chosen because that is where our customers are and we know that we can find workers and vendors that have the dedication to quality that we need", McCarty stated in a press conference at IMTS earlier this week. "We will employ Americans and this facility will be managed by Americans. I can also tell you that although we will continue to use the world's best components in our machines, we will also use a number of local US vendors to provide contract machining, fabricating, and electronics."

The site of the new manufacturing facility has not been determined, but McCarty says SMTCL-Americas will begin manufacturing VMCs and expand with other products as the market dictates. 

SMTCL plans on purchasing or building a 100,000 square foot facility and employing between 100 to 120 employees. "We will need manufacturing engineers, machine assembly technicians, and service technicians, as well as purchasing, accounting, and general management professionals," said McCarty.

McCarty added that he hopes to be manufacturing in the US by the end of 2015. "These machines will be shipped to our customers in the United States, Canada, and Mexico and we look forward to helping our customers compete in the world economy."

SMTCL produces 80,000 machine tools each year and has revenues of $2.9 billion. The company has more than 300 products in its machine tool line-up.

SMTCL-Americas

 

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Topic: Mazak webinar "Process Planning for Improved Multi-Tasking Machining" 

Date & Time: February 18, 2:00 pm EST

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