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Intro to a Cell

Optomec and Acme claim another industry first

3D printing company Optomec of Albuquerque, and Acme Manufacturing, a robotic material producer, announced today they have partnered to produce "an industry first, fully automated work cell initially optimized for repairing aviation compressor blades made of titanium."

The turnkey work cell is said to be the product of a two-year collaboration between the companies working with input from commercial maintenance repair & overhaul (MRO) and US DoD repair centers for aircraft engines. The featured cell will have a repair capacity of 85,000 titanium compressor blades per year.

ACME Turnkey Aerospace Blade Repair System The entry level work cell consists of three stations that enable blade tip grinding, 3D additive laser cladding and post clad finishing. The cell also includes an automated pallet load/unload station, a unique pallet flipping station, and a robotic material handling system.

Working in tandem, the systems in the work cell aim to provide "a productive real-world implementation of Industry 4.0 and digital thread concepts," Optomec said in an email to Electrical Apparatus.

Jamie Hanson, VP of Business Development at Optomec, stated, “Our collaboration with Acme Manufacturing has brought together complementary technologies that provide a compelling business case for customers. Demanding repair requirements, driven by commercial and DoD repair centers, has led Optomec to enhance our DED capabilities to enable high volume, high yield repair for compressor blades, an especially challenging objective for titanium parts.”

“Acme has delivered over 200 robotic material removal systems to the aerospace industry in the past 35 years largely for new part manufacturing. By utilizing efficient and repeatable robotic finishing technology, we will be able to enable MRO engine repair centers to improve overall component quality and help lower unit costs. I am excited about our teams’ developments in auto path generation, which allows us to enter a new market of automated material removal systems" stated G.A. “Fritz” Carlson III, President & CEO of Acme Manufacturing.

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