Industry Air New Zealand ventures with 3D aircraft parts company Zenith Tecnica

  • Air New Zealand

Air New Zealand has announced, that it will partner up with 3D aircraft printing company Zenith Tecnica to explore new innovations and processes.

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The New Zealand airline said that it will use the partnership to explore new innovations in the 3D printing industry. The carrier seeks to take advantage of Zenith Tecnia┬┤s years of metal 3D printing experience.

Zenith Tecnica, a company that is located in the North Shores of New Zealand, has specialized on aerospace and space component manufacture for 3D parts. Currently, mainly the local New Zealand market is being targeted.

The company uses a technology that is called electron beam melting (EMB). The machines for this process are being built by GE Additive company Arcam EBM.

Air New Zealand Chief Operations Officer Bruce Parton said: "It's fantastic to be able to team up with and support local operator Zenith Tecnica and work with global company GE Additive to learn and collaborate in this space. While we are in the initial stages of working with these companies on 3D printing, so far, we have printed prototype metal framing for our Business Premier cabin, to quickly test new concepts and ideas and we have also made novelty wine aerators."

Zenith Tecnica Managing Director Martyn Newby added: "This is a good project to demonstrate the strength, versatility and utility of titanium 3D printed parts for aircraft applications and it's very exciting to be working alongside Air New Zealand on this journey. We are in a very good position to support the local adoption of 3D printing for aviation applications and welcome Air New Zealand's enthusiasm to embrace this emerging technology and help take it to the mainstream."

Initially, Air New Zealand began to explore the 3D printing area in 2016. Now, it has moved into small aircraft parts like IFE screens. The carrier has furthermore met new partners such as ST Engineering Aerospace for larger aircraft parts.

With the Auckland University, Victoria University of Wellington and other companies, Air New Zealand aims on exploring new processes in the 3D printing scene.

Air New Zealand is the flag carrier of New Zealand and operates with a fleet of 30 Airbus A320s, 16 Boeing B777s and 11 B787 Dreamliners. 53 destinations are being served in 21 countries.

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