ABOUT THE CHALLENGE
NineSigma, representing the General Electric Company, invites technology proposals for alternative manufacturing methods to investment casting of aircraft engine components.
Round 1: GE sought alternative manufacturing methods that must improve upon the current process in terms of cost reduction per part and speed of manufacture while maintaining or improving product quality and reliability. View the Round 1 Challenge Summary.
Round 2: GE sought to identify more broad capabilities - expanding contacts for transformative and emerging manufacturing technologies and techniques. This quest strove to discover novel, unique and non-mainstream manufacturing methods - including demonstrable, early stage techniques.
Up to six (6) respondents in Round 2 will each receive a cash prize of US$3,000 for a total prize pool of up to US$18,000. In addition, successful participants may have the opportunity to become a collaborator/supplier to General Electric. Potential for further engagement with GE may include mentoring, funding for technical development, licensing, technology acquisition and/or collaboration toward commercialization and may involve vendor assessments, technology discussions and post-Challenge negotiations.
Participants in Round 2 of this challenge will submit a description of capabilities and experience in developing or implementing Advanced Manufacturing methods or processes - particularly how those technologies and approaches can be applied to perform in an aviation manufacturing capacity that will require conformance to tight dimensional and metallurgical requirements.
Possible alternative manufacturing capabilities of interest include, but are not limited to:
- Additive manufacturing innovations;
- Means to increase tolerance controls
- Use of novel materials; and,
- Alternative metal deposition processes.
Casting techniques that do not significantly improve on current conventional castings processes are not of interest.
GE Aviation and Innovation defining tomorrow's airline industry
GE Aviation, a world-leading provider of jet engines, components and integrated systems for commercial and military aircraft, is committed to the evolution of technologies and manufacturing processes.
Aircraft production is particularly complex and demanding. Components, like castings, are precision crafted to tight tolerances, using high performance materials. Manufacturing advancements must be achieved through a variety of perspectives, including expediting cycle time, improvement in agile batching or materials that increase tolerance controls - ensuring every item inspected complies with quality standards and criteria.
The next generation of component manufacturing technologies will make the future of air travel possible.
Alternative Manufacturing of Castings - Round 1
Round 1 sought alternative methods, approaches and techniques to advance the manufacturing of intricate parts by improving upon current processes in terms of cost, speed, and material while maintaining the same quality standards required for these parts.
A typical aviation casting model is described here along with material specifications. Click here to view the model for this project (file type is parasolid CAD file). View the webinar discussing the challenge goals and opportunities here.
See Official Round 2 Rules for details. Contest opens on April 16, 2015. Must submit at least one Entry by May 7, 2015 to be eligible. Must be 18 years of age or older to participate. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited.