Additive Manufacturing for Aerospace Maintenance and Sustainment (Postprint)
Journal Article - Open Access,16 Aug 2012,10 Mar 2018
Youngstown State University Youngstown United States
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Additive manufacturing AM is causing a fundamental manufacturing paradigm shift that is changing how aircraft are now maintained and sustained. Sustaining an aging aerospace fleet is an enormous challenge. The U.S. Department of Defense maintains nearly 100 billion worth of spare parts and has to balance avoiding excess inventory while simultaneously preventing stock-out. A large 747-type aircraft can have nearly 6 million individual parts produced by a global supply chain of approximately 550 companies, some of which may not exist a decade from now. Sustainment organizations struggle with long lead times, resulting in maintenance delays or grounded aircraft. For example, the Oklahoma City Air Logistics Complex reported lead times as long as 800 days for constant speed drive castings. Meanwhile, at the end of 2016, 29 of all U.S. Marine Corps FA-18 Hornets were grounded pending spare parts.
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