A step into the future

bol30 not01

From  2nd to 5th April, the greatest Brazilian experts in the field of metal additive manufacturing had a great opportunity to deepen their knowledge. During the period, five institutions organized the first national workshop focused exclusively on the area. They are: Akaer (technological solutions company for the aerospace and defense markets), ITA (Aeronautics Institute of Technology), Senai Institute of Laser Innovation, Senai Institute of Innovation in Manufacturing Systems and Senai Institute of Innovation in Surface Engineering.

The segment is strategic. A survey by consultancy Wohlers Associates indicates that the metal additive manufacturing market share grew 80 percent between 2016 and 2017, while the rest of the segment, which includes polymers and other materials, rose by 21 percent. The industry shows the reasons for this trend. According to data from General Electric, an aircraft demonstration engine, which has 35% of its parts built by additive manufacturing, will contribute to a 5% reduction in aircraft weight and a 1% improvement in fuel consumption. The company also says that production time also shows a drastic change: from 12 to just 6 months. This does not include the number of parts that make up the equipment: from 850 that are found in a conventional engine, to only 12.

The data reinforce the Brazilian industry’s need to update itself within this novelty, and the workshop allowed exactly that. The meeting was held in two cities. For the first three days, closed meetings were held in Joinville (SC) to discuss the results of a broad collaborative project between Brazil and Sweden in the sector involving eight actors who constantly exchange of information between industries, universities and companies (more information at the link: http://cisb.org.br/pt/comunicacao/boletim-cisb/363-tecnologia-nacional-com-input-sueco).

"I believe it is the largest bilateral project between the two countries," says Joselito Henriques, Director of R&D and Innovation at Akaer. Among the major achievements of the action is the formation of seed projects funded by the Senai National Department and by Vinnova (Swedish innovation agency).

In April 5, a select group of people involved in research in the area of ​​metal additive manufacturing from all over the country attended the Akaer headquarters in São José dos Campos (SP), to attend a meeting where all that has been developed in Brazil within the segment was shown, and talks about the concept of international consortium for research were held. Representatives of Embraer, Anac (National Civil Aviation Agency), MSC (software company), USP (São Paulo University) São Carlos, IPT (Technological Research Institute), Petrobras were present, among others.

"We are building a real research network applied between Brazil and Sweden involving a large number of partners," says Henriques. According to him, this network is strengthened through the proximity of people, and events such as the workshop are ideal environments to strengthen ties and consolidate new contacts. In fact, some participants of the open meeting have already begun talks to consolidate new partnerships.

The project is ongoing. While seeking new participants, the eight-company consortium continues to strengthen its relationship with institutions around the world. The next workshop will be held on 20-25 August in Sweden.