The project RepAIR will perform research on future repair and maintenance for the Aerospace industry. Therefore the on-site maintenance and repair of aircraft by integrated direct digital manufacturing is the focus of this project. The main objective of RepAIR is to shift the make-or-buy decision towards the “make” decision by reducing the cost of remaking and repairing spare parts, resulting in more efficient maintenance operations. A crucial advantage of this technology is the flexible availability (even at the gate) allowing on-time maintenance. Personnel cost can also be reduced thanks to a higher level of automation and shorter production times. These operations require a higher qualification and promote the preservation and expansion of highly qualified workplaces in Europe. Moreover, the storage costs will be reduced significantly.
As only the raw material needs to be stored, instead of having to have in stock up to 3.6 million spare parts for the multitude of airplanes and varieties of aircraft manufacturers, less capital is locked up. Additionally, hardly any energy-intensive produced raw material will be wasted or destroyed, but will be used optimally. When looking ahead, with the aid of AM technology, it will be possible to shorten the entire spare parts supply chain to sending an e-mail. The benefit for all those involved, including the environment, is obvious. New business models will become sustainable. These operations require a higher qualification and promote the preservation and expansion of highly qualified workplaces in Europe and make them more competitive.
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