Addqual's new service ensures additive manufacturing meets strict aerospace procedures
AddQual Ltd is an early-stage manufacturing services company based in The iHub at Infinity Park, Derby.
What they do
The company provides a range of supportive and consultancy services for aerospace product manufacturers and is also undertaking R&D activities to develop a process for the verification and qualification of component quality.
The company has identified a lack of robust standards and procedures associated with additive manufacturing of components for aerospace. These components must be compliant with very stringent quality control and audit procedures. In response to this need they are developing an innovative end-to-end service that will verify and qualify components produced using additive manufacturing and other rapid forming methods. The service will consider both material and dimensional quality and aims to be faster and more comprehensive than today’s offerings.
As well as enabling customers to deliver components with the relevant quality assurance required for aerospace, the service will also meet medical, energy, automotive and rail requirements.
The company knows that setting up the full end-to-end service will require time and significant investment. To achieve this transition AddQual Ltd has developed a staged investment plan where early investments will enable them to introduce services that generate revenue whilst the R&D work required for the full offering is on-going. To accelerate progress against the plan AddQual needed to obtain additional funding to spread the investment further and to tap into local expertise to support the R&D work.
AddQual Ltd applied to ERDF Catalysing Growth for the following:
- Support from University of Derby to observe and understand the process involved in making specific geometries/components and to assess the resulting risks and product quality. During the project additive manufacturing was used to create a range of demonstrator components to generate risks, opportunities and data.
- Grant funding to purchase software needed to support the development of the base qualification service offering. The funding would also be used to support the purchase of a 3D printer to aid the development and method for acquiring the data.
The work completed by University of Derby has resulted in a greater understanding of where opportunities for services may be found and the value that any potential improvement will have on potential customers. Many risks previously unknown to AddQual have been identified along with potential solutions including machine, material, staff and testing costs.
The grant funding provided by the programme enabled the company to invest, develop and demonstrate the measurement process concept faster than planned.
Ben Anderson, Managing Director AddQual Ltd
“The iNET have provided a great deal of support for AddQual assisting us with market research data, rigorous questioning of the business case, through to financial support. This has enabled AddQual to demonstrate the service model and allowed it to develop at a faster rate then would have been achievable without their support. We are currently on plan to start offering the service to external projects at the start of Q2 2018, starting with products from the Aerospace and Medical sectors.”