ECA Group partners with Prodways and completes the Additive Manufacturing / 3D printing offer for th

Thursday, November 26 2015
Drawing on its strong presence of more than 20 years in the Aerospace industry, ECA Group continues to work alongside major players in the Aerospace sector as an industry player and partners with Prodways, a French company and subsidiary of Groupe Gorgé, specialized in 3D printing for the industry.

Press release in English

Press release in French


This partnership, which is part of the process of technological breakthrough in manufacturing methods, focuses firstly on production, inspection and maintenance tools. The development and completion of these tools, using the various available Additive Layer Manufacturing technologies, offer immediate benefits to the Aerospace sector, such as weight reduction, production cost savings and reduced manufacturing time.

This new technology strives for a smaller number of parts through the creation of shapes that were impossible to create through conventional machining processes until now. In applications that have already been developed, the number of parts is reduced by a factor of six, leading to considerable improvements in terms of tool ergonomics and the speed of implementation. Furthermore, the use of new polymer materials not only removes the risk of damaging aircraft components, but also leads to operating gains through the reduction or even elimination of regular geometrical inspections.

A first success was achieved through this collaboration. The tools manufactured are already being used in industrial operations on aeronautic production sites, and maintenance equipment (GSE) is being approved on aircraft prior to their implementation over the next few months.

An integrated industrial team, which comprises on the one hand ECA Group expert engineer teams developing aeronautic tooling solutions and, on the other hand, Prodways industrialization and production teams with more than 20 years' experience in additive manufacturing, enables to guarantee the characteristics and performance expected from tooling solutions specific to 3D printing in the Aerospace sector. In addition, the fleet of 30 Prodways machines covering the various metal and polymer technologies currently available provides essential opportunities to use this new manufacturing method to optimize ECA Group's Additive Layer Manufacturing solutions.

Moreover, ECA Group is implementing Additive Layer Manufacturing across all of its areas of activity by integrating the method into the industrialization of various product subsets in Robotics & Embedded Systems, such as airborne, land and naval drones.

The global 3D printing market in the Aerospace sector was valued at $0.8 billion in 2014. With a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 20% over 5 years, the 3D printing market in the Aeronautics sector should reach $2.6 billion in 2020*.


*source: Wohlers report, A.T. Kearney analysis



Fore measurement tools
Technology: Stereolithography

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