Partners meet at YSU to report on Air Force research project

Representatives from some of the world’s leaders in additive manufacturing, including Lockheed Martin, Raytheon and Boeing, are on hand as Youngstown State University and America Makes host a two-day event to wrap-up the first phase of a multimillion dollar research program to improve the replacement of spare parts for aging Air Force aircraft.
 

The event in Williamson Hall on the YSU campus March 28 and 29 includes reports on the $8 million first phase of the Maturation of Advanced Manufacturing for Low-cost Sustainment program, funded by the Air Force Research Lab in Dayton, managed by America Makes with the University of Dayton Research Institute and YSU as prime contractors.

More than 25 manufacturing companies, universities and research organizations, including Air Force bases in Ohio, Utah, Georgia and Oklahoma, have been involved in the project that focuses on making out-of-production replacement parts for older aircraft via advanced manufacturing technologies such as additive manufacturing, commonly known as 3D printing. The process can be used to print actual spare parts or to create large tooling and molds to be used in traditional forms of manufacturing.

Brett Conner, right, YSU associate professor of Manufacturing Engineering and director of the Advanced Manufacturing Research Center on campus, talks with reporters about the Maturation of Advanced Manufacturing for Low-cost Sustainment program, funded by the Air Force Research Lab in Dayton, managed by America Makes with the University of Dayton Research Institute and YSU as prime contractors.
“We are very excited to gather together here in Youngstown to learn about the successes of an important area of research, not only for the Air Force, but for the entire military and manufacturing community as well,” America Makes Director of Operations Rob Gorham said.

“The partnership of so many entities from across the nation in support of a project that has such great national implications underscores yet again the manufacturing innovation that is coming out of the Youngstown and Mahoning Valley region,” said Brett Conner, YSU associate professor of Manufacturing Engineering and director of the Advanced Manufacturing Research Center on campus.

Driven by the National Center for Defense Manufacturing and Machining, the managing company of America Makes, the phase one program includes Ohio-based partners YSU, UDRI, Bastech Inc., Case Western Reserve University, Deloitte Services, DRT Mfg. Co., GE Aviation, Humtown Products, M-7 Technologies, Slice Manufacturing Studios and the Youngstown Business Incubator, along with the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center and AFRL out of Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton and the 910th Airlift Wing out of Youngstown. Also part of the team are other additive manufacturing leaders from around the nation, including 3D Systems Corp., American Foundry Society, The Boeing Co., Honeywell International, Lockheed Martin, the National Center for Manufacturing Sciences, Optomec, Pennsylvania State University, Raytheon and the University of Northern Iowa.

The program team has worked directly with Air Force officials from Air Logistics Complexes located at Robins Air Force Base in Georgia, Hill AFB in Utah and Tinker AFB in Oklahoma, in conjunction with other Air Force units and other Department of Defense bases and depots. The research program has now moved into phases 2 and 3. In all, the program’s funding amounts to more than $27 million.