You are here

Additive Manufacturing Process Monitoring and Control Technologies

Description:

TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Weapons 

OBJECTIVE: The Defense Logistics Agency seeks to develop Standardized Additive Manufacturing (AM) procedures that are essential in the DoD acceptance of certified AM parts in the DoD supply chain. DLA Logistics Operations seeks process monitoring technologies to address four primary objectives: 1. Provide reduced overhead costs. 2. Increase yield, reduce costs and realize repeatable, certified and affordable parts. 3. Reduce fulfillment cycle times and accelerat4e4 part supply options and certifications by transferring known part specifications between AM suppliers and technologies. 4. Expand and enable a flexible and scalable supply chain where qualified parts are not dedicated to specific AM suppliers, technologies, or dedicated equipment. 

DESCRIPTION: The Department of Defense (DoD) demand for out-of-production parts to maintain mission readiness of various weapons system platforms is an ongoing challenge for the Defense Logistics Agency. DLA's strategic objective is to enable a flexible supply chain that can accelerate repairs and part replacements utilizing AM. However, AM technology is relatively new to manufacturing and has many hurdles to overcome before universal adoption as a replacement, DLA is looking to leverage this evolving digital environment to enable a reliable supply chain that is both flexible and scalable. Of the many elements required to certify parts, process monitoring and control will play a major role in assuring consistent quality achievement across the spectrum of potential suppliers and technology solutions. Process monitoring and control provides consistency in the thread between AM technology solutions. Process monitoring and control provides consistency in the thread between AM technology types and suppliers, and assures that machine-to-machine variation is within limits, both today and tomorrow as well as provides critical insights into the path towards quality, reliability, and certification. With respect to economics, the affordability of AM parts will be largely dependent on the overhead costs to develop part-specific parameters and production scrap rates. 1. Currently, input process parameter development is dependent on geometric features, material properties, feed stock type, power source, individual AM machine variation over time, and many other factors. 2. Process control is imperative to increase yield, reduce costs and realize repeatable, certified, and affordable parts. In addition, the ability to minimize the overhead to validate parts on multiple technologies can have significant impact on the flexibility of the supple chain and the economics of parts supply. 

PHASE I: Establish and approach to integrate various "third party" independent sensors and monitoring into the additive manufacturing process. 

PHASE II: Integrate "third-party" sensors and demonstrate process monitoring and feedback for multiple additive manufacturing systems. The resulting integrated solution should demonstrate how the transfer of known part specification between AM systems can reduce fulfillment cycle times and accelerate part supply options. 

PHASE III: At this point, no specific funding is associated with Phase III. Progress made in PHASE I and PHASE II should result in a functional Open Source System which can transition into the Government or the commercial markets. COMMERCIALIZATION: Expand and enable a flexible and scalable supply chain where qualified parts are not dedicated to specific AM suppliers, technologies, or dedicated equipment. 

REFERENCES: 

1: W. J. Sames, F. A. List, S. Pannala, R. R. Dehoff & S. S. Babu, "The metallurgy and processing science of metal additive manufacturing" International Materials Review, 2016. Downloaded by [Oak Ridge National Laboratory] at 08:18 07 March 2016.

2:  Spears, T. G., and Gold, S. A., "In-process sensing in selective laser melting (SLM) Additive Manufacturing," Integrating Material and Manufacturing Innovation, Issue 5, Volume 2, February, 2016.

KEYWORDS: Additive Manufacturing; Input Process Parameter Development; Process Control 

CONTACT(S): 

Denise Price 

(703) 767-0111 

denise.price@dla.mil 

US Flag An Official Website of the United States Government