The Supply Chain's Vital Role in Metal AM Qualification
"How do I support qualitifcation?" Every single player in the AM supply chain should be asking this question. Regardless of industry and final certification authority, there are several key areas that must be understood to drive metal AM adoption. We must have a stable and repeatable process capable of creating a reproducible product. We must characterize our material, both incoming and then the outcoming performance. The order of events is also important; for example, we should not do significant material testing until we've documented a material specification and process specification. This talk will break down key activities required to advance qualification for metal AM enabled product with a focus on the flow of requirements from the end product back through the supply chain. Key factors for qualification success and failure across multiple metal technologies will be explored including issues with the fundamental qualification approach and examples where a lack of understanding of the actual requirements limits new entrants. Finally, current opportunities to speed qualification and reduce cost, like using machine learning to establish a stable process window and reduce testing, and examples of supply chain collaboration will be shared. When the players understand their role and are willing to work across the supply chain, the rate of AM adoption will increase moving us from industry firsts to industry norm.
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Additive Manufacturing Conference