Solution: Relentless Innovation and materials science expertise
One of the challenges was the small number of aircraft in the fleet and the need to design a fix quickly. ATI’s additive manufacturing and materials experts knew that rapid design iteration and low-volume part production attributes would result in a quick and economic production of 3D-printed titanium oil collectors that deliver the performance the application demands. The units were printed from titanium powder in New Britain, Connecticut before heading to the nearby East Hartford, Connecticut facility for final machining.
Additive manufacturing, with its ability to rapidly produce a single unit, was the ideal approach for this non-critical part. “Our customers were really tremendous to work with,” said Rich Merlino, General Manager of Additive Operations at ATI. “With our extensive aerospace background, the team understood the requirements almost immediately. The opportunity to efficiently go back and forth between design and production, with a clear understanding of our end goal, allowed us to achieve success in a fraction of the time it would normally take.”
We were able to get the legacy helicopter back in service quickly, successfully delivering a high-performing solution for a critical customer. The partnership continues to grow – while our roots originated from the multi-decade work on closed die forgings, we’re now part of developmental work for advanced programs on the horizon.