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Additive manufacturing certification framework updated

Lloyd’s Register and TWI have updated their joint framework for 2017 for metal additive manufacturing.

The framework, now called ‘Guidance Notes for the Certification of Metallic Parts made by Additive Manufacturing’, is aimed at helping manufacturers and end users of equipment and components achieve quality-driven and safe adoption of additive manufacturing.

The updated issuance of these guidance notes reflects a more user-friendly approach to manufacturing certification, breaking down the approach into five key areas: design, materials, manufacturing, post-processing and inspection, and testing.

The scope of technologies and processes in the 2017 framework has also been extended to reflect industry trends, and now includes wire-arc additive manufacturing (WAAM), a process commonly used for larger-scale parts and production in shorter amounts of time. Laser powder bed fusion and laser metal deposition processes are also addressed with extended information and detail based on real-world expertise.

‘The disruptive nature of AM combined with the cross-industry potential has really lent itself to a collaborative approach to developing a more standard way to qualify and certify all aspects of parts made by AM,’ said Claire Ruggiero, innovation director at Lloyd’s Register. ‘Along with TWI, we have created and participated in joint industry projects across the globe to help apply our expertise directly to clients and consortiums, resulting in a safer and more certifiable approach. The 2017 guidance notes continue this approach by sharing our expertise.’

Working alongside the Singapore Centre for 3D Printing at Nanyang Technological University, Lloyd’s Register is currently supporting Keppel Offshore and Marine, a Singapore user of rapidly made, large-scale parts for offshore and marine applications. In the Netherlands, Lloyd’s Register is also working with the Rotterdam Additive Manufacturing Lab (RAMLAB) joint industry project for ‘metal parts on demand’, to verify that the AM technology selected can consistently ensure compliance with all applicable requirements.

Lloyd’s Register and TWI also launched two of their own joint industry projects in January: ‘Achieving Regulatory and Code Compliance for Additive Manufacturing’ and ‘Joining of metallic additively manufactured products and materials’. Both entities will also continue to support several working groups on AM approaches and standardisations for industrial equipment, while the non-profit Lloyd’s Register Foundation, the owner of Lloyd’s Register, is also funding research programmes to address wide-ranging safety challenges relating to additive manufacturing adoption over the coming years. 

‘In the past, manufacturers haven’t always known where or how to begin their journey with AM,’ said Dr Chris Dungey, joining technologies group manager at TWI. ‘Lloyd’s Register and TWI’s collaborative approach is an end-to-end model that can help clients from the earliest starting line: questioning the use of AM and how to exploit its benefits, to the eventual finish line of certifying and selling AM parts into the open market. These guidance notes support that model.’ 

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