Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) and Wipro 3D, the metal additive manufacturing (AM) business of Wipro Infrastructure Engineering (WIN), have joined hands to design, develop, manufacture and repair aerospace components using metal 3D printing technology. Prove-outs and certification of components developed using metal 3D printing are other key elements of this pact.
The companies hope the initiative will bring metal 3D printing into the mainstream of Indian aerospace.
“Wipro 3D and HAL have worked together in the past. This further strengthens our collaborative efforts to create additive technology leadership in aerospace," said Pratik Kumar, CEO, Wipro Infrastructure Engineering.
Globally, the aerospace industry has been one of the foremost adopters of metal 3D printing due to the benefits of faster design iterations, weight and geometry optimisation, performance improvement and flexible manufacturing. In fact, this market is expected to grow by more than 23 percent to reach $4.76 billion by 2023, according to a MarketsandMarkets report.
HAL too has established facilities at Bengaluru for 3D printing for applications in the areas of design of aircraft, manufacturing and maintenance of aero-engines but these are limited to build components or prototype models for scientific investigations.
The MoU will extend HAL’s additive manufacturing capability beyond design validation, said a source close to the development.
“Qualification of parts for aerospace is challenging as it would require prove out and extensive testing followed by certification by regulatory authorities which may also include flight testing. This cooperation would be a unique opportunity for both the parties,” said Shekhar Shrivastava, CEO, Bangalore Complex, HAL.
Wipro 3D recently developed India’s first industrial-grade metal 3D printer in collaboration with the Indian Institute of Science, which will cater to the aerospace, defence and oil & gas sectors.