Premium Aerotec Acquires APWorks

Aerospace supplier Premium Aerotec has made a big move into expanding its additive manufacturing capabilities, acquiring Airbus spin-off APWorks. Premium Aerotec is also owned by Airbus.

These titanium printed vent bends made for Airbus were the first such serial parts certified for airworthiness. Image: Premium Aerotec

“With Premium Aerotec coming on board, we can take a huge step closer to our vision of industrial mass production using additive manufacturing technology”, said Joachim Zettler, Managing Director of APWorks. “The aim is to combine APWorks’ highly dynamic approach in solving the issues posed by our clients’ additive manufacturing questions with Premium Aerotec’s decades of production experience to elicit maximum benefit for our clients from each and every industry, throughout the entire additive manufacturing value added chain.”

APWorks helps customers in the aerospace and automotive markets identify 3D-print-friendly components. The deal will give Premium Aerotec access to other customers outside of its parent company, which is expected to eventually sell the supplier.

“Our main customer is Airbus, but we have a clear strategy to open up to more customers out there,” Premium Aerotec CEO Thomas Ehm told Reuters. “Whether or not Airbus will sell Premium Aerotec is their decision. But we were founded 10 years ago in order to be sold.”

The company makes complete fuselage sections, floor structures, wing components, loading doors, and pressure bulkheads. It was the first aviation supplier to introduce 3D-printed titanium components in aircraft applications. In 2016, the company supplied additively manufactured parts for the aerial refueling system used in the A400M.

Premium Aerotec uses additive manufacturing for parts in the Airbus A350 and A400M military aircraft. The company wants to have its 3D printing processes certified by relevant regulators in Europe and the U.S. – this will save the time and expense of certifying individual parts.

Source: Reuters