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Qualification Aspects in Design for Additive Manufacturing: A Study in the Space Industry
Luleå University of Technology, Department of Business Administration, Technology and Social Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-3086-9140
2020 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The aim of this research is to further the understanding of implications for product development and qualification when introducing additive manufacturing (AM) in the context of the space industry. Increased availability of AM machines and alluring potentials such as design freedom and cost-efficient product development and manufacturing has led to a rapid growth in the use of AM. However, the implementation of AM is hampered by lack of process understanding, implying uncertainties for engineers on how to design products for AM. Furthermore, the AM process chain (including e.g. post-processes) is not sufficiently developed and understood, adding further uncertainties. These uncertainties are a challenge when developing products for space applications, especially if they are critical for mission success and hence not allowed to fail. Such products and their manufacturing processes have to comply with strict requirements on verifying performance, quality, and reliability, i.e. product and process qualification. The purpose of this research is to investigate how qualification is addressed during product development in the space industry in order to find improved ways for engineers to explore the capabilities of AM to better understand its possibilities and limitations.

 

The research is specifically focused on the use of powder bed fusion processes by companies developing and manufacturing sub-system components for space applications. It is limited to the manufacturing of components on Earth for use in space. The research approach is qualitative. Five studies provide the empirical foundation for the thesis, in which a total of four companies are included. In particular, one of the companies is studied in-depth, including a development project for a critical AM product. Individual interviews, workshops and focus groups are used for data collection. Furthermore, the in-depth study is based on a longitudinal presence at the company, providing the opportunity to gather data from project meetings and discussions. Collaborative action research with three of the companies provides a research setting to study the development of three AM products (of which the in-depth study is one) and how uncertainties related to the AM process can be addressed.

 

Four aspects of how to address product qualification in Design for AM are deduced: (i) AM knowledge should be built through application-driven development processes, (ii) qualification should be accounted for early and to a larger extent, (iii) suitable and acceptable requirements should be defined through collaboration, and (iv) rapid manufacturing should be utilised to evaluate critical uncertainties. To support engineering teams on how to address these aspects, this thesis presents two contributions to the design field. The first is a design process utilising AM Design Artefacts (AMDAs) to identify, test and evaluate the AM-related uncertainties that are most pressing for a product. Through the iterative use of AMDAs, products designs are successively evolved, enabling a design which meets process capabilities and fulfils product requirements. The AMDA design process is part of the second contribution, a Design for Qualification framework that encourages a qualification-driven development approach for AM products. The framework includes six design tactics that provide guidance for its implementation. The tactics encourage an application-driven development process where qualification is considered early, and where successive steps are taken towards a thorough AM process chain understanding. The framework is designed based on the studied cases, and future research should focus on developing the framework and tactics further to facilitate implementation and wider applicability.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Luleå University of Technology, 2020.
Series
Doctoral thesis / Luleå University of Technology 1 jan 1997 → …, ISSN 1402-1544
Keywords [en]
Additive Manufacturing, Design for Additive Manufacturing, Qualification, Design for Qualification, Space Industry
National Category
Other Engineering and Technologies Other Engineering and Technologies not elsewhere specified
Research subject
Product Innovation
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-77472ISBN: 978-91-7790-520-2 (print)ISBN: 978-91-7790-521-9 (electronic)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:ltu-77472DiVA, id: diva2:1387468
Public defence
2020-03-17, A109, Luleå, 09:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Projects
Rymd för innovation och tillväxt (RIT)Radical Innovation and Qualification using Additive Manufacturing (RIQAM)
Funder
Swedish National Space BoardEuropean Regional Development Fund (ERDF)Available from: 2020-01-22 Created: 2020-01-21 Last updated: 2020-02-20Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Additive Manufacturing and the Product Development Process: insights from the Space Industry
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Additive Manufacturing and the Product Development Process: insights from the Space Industry
2017 (English)In: he 21th International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED17): 21-25 August 2017, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada : proceedings of ICED17 / [ed] 21th International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED17), Vancouver, 21-25 August 2017, 2017, Vol. 5, p. 345-354Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

With Additive Manufacturing (AM), manufacturing companies have the potential to develop more geometrically and functionally complex products. Design for AM (DfAM) has become an expression implying the need to design differently for the AM process, compared to for conventional, usually "subtractive" manufacturing methods. There is a need to understand how AM will influence the product development process and the possibilities to create innovative designs, from the perspective of the product development engineer. This paper explores the expected influence of AM on the product development process in a space industry context. Space industry is characterized by small-scale production, and is increasingly cost-oriented. There is a general belief that AM could pave the way for more efficient product development. Three companies have been studied through interviews, observations and workshops. Results show that engineers' expected implications of introducing AM in the space industry are: The involvement and influence of customers and politics on innovativeness; the need for process understanding and usage of new tools for DfAM-thinking; the need for qualification of AM processes.

Series
Proceedings of the International Conference on Engineering Design, ISSN 2220-4334
National Category
Engineering and Technology Other Engineering and Technologies not elsewhere specified
Research subject
Product Innovation
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-65373 (URN)2-s2.0-85029782661 (Scopus ID)
Conference
21th International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED17), Vancouver, 21-25 August 2017
Available from: 2017-08-28 Created: 2017-08-28 Last updated: 2020-01-21Bibliographically approved
2. Qualification Challenges with Additive Manufacturing in Space Applications
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Qualification Challenges with Additive Manufacturing in Space Applications
2017 (English)Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Additive Manufacturing (AM) has the potential to remove boundaries that traditional manufacturing processes impose on engineering design work. The space industry pushes product development and technology to its edge, and there can be a lot to gain by introducing AM. However, the lack of established qualification procedures for AM parts has been highlighted, especially for critical components. While the space industry sees an advantage in AM due to expensive products in low volumes and long lead-times for traditional manufacturing processes (e.g. casting), it also acknowledges the issue of qualifying mission critical parts within its strict regulations. This paper focuses on the challenges with the qualification of AM in space applications. A qualitative study is presented where conclusions have been drawn from interviews within the aerospace industry. The results highlight important gaps that need to be understood before AM can be introduced in critical components, and gives insight into conventional component qualification.

Keywords
Additive Manufacturing, Space application, Qualification, Product development process, Manufacturing process development
National Category
Other Engineering and Technologies not elsewhere specified
Research subject
Product Innovation
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-65623 (URN)
Conference
28th Annual Solid Freeform Fabrication Symposium, Austin, Texas, USA, 7-9 August 2017
Available from: 2017-09-13 Created: 2017-09-13 Last updated: 2020-01-21Bibliographically approved
3. Drivers and Guidelines in Design for Qualification using Additive Manufacturing in Space Applications
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Drivers and Guidelines in Design for Qualification using Additive Manufacturing in Space Applications
2019 (English)In: Proceedings of the 22nd International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED19), The Design Society, 2019, p. 729-738Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

In recent years, reducing cost and lead time in product development and qualification has become decisive to stay competitive in the space industry. Introducing Additive Manufacturing (AM) could potentially be beneficial from this perspective, but high demands on product reliability and lack of knowledge about AM processes make implementation challenging. Traditional approaches to qualification are too expensive if AM is to be used for critical applications in the near future. One alternative approach is to consider qualification as a design factor in the early phases of product development, potentially reducing cost and lead time for development and qualification as products are designed to be qualified. The presented study has identified factors that drive qualification activities in the space industry and these “qualification drivers” serve as a baseline for a set of proposed strategies for developing “Design for Qualification” guidelines for AM components. The explicit aim of these guidelines is to develop products that can be qualified, as well as appropriate qualification logics. The presented results provide a knowledge-base for the future development of such guidelines.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
The Design Society, 2019
Series
Proceedings of the Design Society: International Conference on Engineering Design, ISSN 2220-4342
Keywords
New product development, Additive Manufacturing, Design for X (DfX), Design for Qualification, Space Applications
National Category
Other Engineering and Technologies not elsewhere specified
Research subject
Product Innovation
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-75670 (URN)10.1017/dsi.2019.77 (DOI)
Conference
International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED19)
Projects
Rymd för Innovation och Tillväxt (RIT)Radical Innovation and Qualification using Additive Manufacturing
Funder
Swedish National Space Board
Available from: 2019-08-23 Created: 2019-08-23 Last updated: 2020-01-21
4. Evaluating Design Uncertainties in Additive Manufacturing using Design Artefacts: Examples from Space Industry
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Evaluating Design Uncertainties in Additive Manufacturing using Design Artefacts: Examples from Space Industry
(English)In: Design Science, ISSN 2053-4701Article in journal (Refereed) Submitted
Abstract [en]

The use of metal Additive Manufacturing (AM) has increased in recent years with potential benefits for novel design solutions and efficient manufacturing. In order to utilise these potentials, engineers need to address uncertainties related to product design and the AM process. This paper presents a design process utilising product specific AM Design Artefacts (AMDAs) to assess uncertainties identified during design. The process emphasises the importance of concurrently developing the product and AM knowledge. Based on a research collaboration with industry, three case studies describe the use of this process in the development of products for AM. In total, six different types of AMDAs show how AM-related uncertainties are resolved to provide confidence in design solutions and manufacturability. The contributions of this paper are: (i) a design process where AMDAs are used as support in evolving and defining an AM design specification, (ii) an example of how DfAM is practiced in industry and of typical AM uncertainties that are encountered and addressed, and (iii) an example of how collaborative research can facilitate new knowledge for both industry and academia. The practical implication is a DfAM process for engineers to use and adapt according to existing AM knowledge.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Cambridge University Press
Keywords
Design for Additive Manufacturing, Design artefacts, Prototyping, Design uncertainties
National Category
Other Engineering and Technologies
Research subject
Product Innovation
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-77465 (URN)
Projects
Rymd för innovation och tillväxt (RIT)Radical Innovation and Qualification using Additive Manufacturing (RIQAM)
Funder
Swedish National Space Board
Available from: 2020-01-21 Created: 2020-01-21 Last updated: 2020-01-21
5. Using Demonstrator Hardware to Develop a Future Qualification Logic for Additive Manufacturing Parts
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Using Demonstrator Hardware to Develop a Future Qualification Logic for Additive Manufacturing Parts
2019 (English)In: Proceedings of the 70th International Astronautical Congress (IAC) 2019, International Astronautical Federation, 2019Conference paper, Published paper (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Qualification of components and processes is crucial for implementing additive manufacturing (AM) as part of a company’s manufacturing process portfolio. Currently, extensive research is ongoing in industry and academia to understand the capabilities and limitations of AM in order to enable qualification. For critical structural components, understanding the impact of the AM process and material on mechanical properties is essential. While an overall logic for qualification of AM parts is sought for, the complexity of these multidisciplinary end-to-end manufacturing processes requires comprehensive knowledge to be built in the pursuit of such a logic. As part of this work, GKN Aerospace is using demonstrator hardware to mature the AM process.

While early expectations on AM often considered it as a universal manufacturing process, the hype has now subdued and it is generally accepted that AM is not suitable for all products. However, in the cases where AM is a good match, it has potential for cost and lead time reduction, while maintaining performance and reliability. GKN has identified liquid rocket engine turbines with highly loaded parts, complex designs, and that are manufactured in low volumes, as a perfect fit for AM. Currently, GKN is designing a new ultra-low-cost turbine demonstrator relying on three objectives; (1) low number of components, suppliers and processes, (2) robust design, and (3) efficient manufacturing. The fully laser powder bed fusion (LPBF) manufactured turbine demonstrator scheduled for engine test in 2020, is an important step in the GKN AM technology demonstration for highly loaded aerospace parts. The verification and demonstration of the AM turbine rests on three pillars; (i) material data, (ii) analysis, and (iii) hardware. Analytical verification using AM material data is the foundation in the verification of the AM turbine. To support this, material testing is an important part of verifying the AM material, as is component testing to check design margins in relation to prediction. Additional testing includes traveler specimens or structures built simultaneously as the full part. Non-destructive inspection of components and travelers verify material quality, and destructive inspections validate the results from non-destructive inspections.

This paper presents the use of this verification approach on a LPBF turbine, where correlation of material data, component testing and inspection to analyses are discussed. Furthermore, conclusions are drawn on future needs for the development of a qualification logic for serial production AM hardware.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
International Astronautical Federation, 2019
Keywords
Additive manufacturing, rocket engine turbine, demonstrator, verification, qualification approach
National Category
Other Engineering and Technologies
Research subject
Product Innovation
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-76690 (URN)
Conference
70th International Astronautical Congress (IAC) 2019
Funder
Swedish National Space BoardEuropean Regional Development Fund (ERDF)
Available from: 2019-11-13 Created: 2019-11-13 Last updated: 2020-01-21
6. A Design for Qualification Framework for the Development of Additive Manufacturing Components: A Case Study from Space Industry
Open this publication in new window or tab >>A Design for Qualification Framework for the Development of Additive Manufacturing Components: A Case Study from Space Industry
(English)In: Aerospace, ISSN 2226-4310Article in journal (Refereed) Submitted
Abstract [en]

Additive Manufacturing (AM) provides several benefits for aerospace companies in terms of efficient and innovative product development. However, due to the general lack of AM process understanding, engineers face many uncertainties related to product qualification during the design of AM components. The purpose of this paper is to further the understanding of how to cope with the need to develop process understanding, while at the same time designing products that can be qualified. A qualitative action research study has been performed, using the development of an AM rocket engine turbine demonstrator as a case study. The results show that the qualification approach should be developed for the specific application, dependent on the AM knowledge within the organisation. AM knowledge is not only linked to the AM process, but to the complete AM process chain. Therefore, it is necessary to consider the manufacturing chain during design, and to develop necessary knowledge concurrently with the product in order to define suitable requirements. The paper proposes a Design for Qualification framework, supported by six design tactics. The framework encourages proactive consideration for qualification and the capabilities of the AM process chain, as well as the continuous development of AM knowledge during product development.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
MDPI
Keywords
Additive Manufacturing, Design for Additive Manufacturing, Verification, Qualification, Design for Qualification, Design for X, Design Tactics, Space Industry
National Category
Other Engineering and Technologies
Research subject
Product Innovation
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-77469 (URN)
Projects
Rymd för innovation och tillväxt (RIT)Radical Innovation and Qualification using Additive Manufacturing (RIQAM)
Funder
Swedish National Space Board
Available from: 2020-01-21 Created: 2020-01-21 Last updated: 2020-01-21

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The full text will be freely available from 2021-02-24 08:00
Available from 2021-02-24 08:00

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Dordlofva, Christo

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