Date & Time:
Hosted by FAA 02/11/2020 - 06/11/2020
Further to the EASA-FAA Industry-Regulator AM Event, hosted in 2019 by EASA, the 2020 edition of this annual harmonised event was hosted by FAA, 2-6th Nov. 2020, in the context of the challenging Covid-19 situation and was consequently transitioned successfully to be a virtual event. Fortunately, one of the positive outcomes from this situation was the engagement of a higher number of industry attendees (300+) than would be typical of a face to face meeting being hosted in either Europe or USA. Furthermore, a high number of attendees was considered to be appropriate for a rapidly evolving and integrated technology, such as AM, which could impact safety and which involves many stakeholders in potentially extensive supply chains relating to many products.
The event comprised of ‘General Presentation’ sessions and ‘Working Group (WG) Breakout Sessions’, these addressing industry lead themes across diverse stakeholder product interests associated with a range materials and processes, i.e. WG1 ‘Qualification of Low Criticality AM Parts’, WG2 ‘Fatigue and Damage Tolerance and Non Destructive Testing Considerations for Metal AM’, and WG3 ‘Transfer of Knowledge between AM Machine Makers and End Users’. Some of these WG themes were developed form previous successful workshops, noting particularly the successful EASA ‘AM Knowledge Transfer’ Workshop, June 2018. These activities were supported by the internal EASA AM WG and the European Aviation AM Industry Regulator Group (EAAMIRG).
There was certainly evidence of evolving maturity in understanding of the technology for a number of material and processes, reflected in the presentations and three breakout sessions, as industry moves towards more extensive in-service AM applications. Indeed, from a EASA perspective, and recognising the repeated messages from the regulators to industry regarding the need to take a ‘step by step’ approach regarding the criticality of applications to safety, this event provided an ideal forum for discussion of the recently released draft revision to the EASA AM CM-S-008 ‘Additive Manufacturing’ for public comment. This includes content specifically focused upon the ‘first step’, i.e. applications of no or low criticality (as addressed in WG1). In the context of developing ‘performance’ based regulation, such publications will become of increasing importance and future FAA-EASA AM events will provide a good forum for the progressive sharing of regulator supported guidelines as the technology continues to mature and as much of the technical discussion also develops in the many other standards bodies and other industry working group activities addressing AM.
Proceedings and presentations will be made available once collated, as usual.
It is likely that further WG meetings will occur during the coming years, and EASA is likely to host the 2021 Industry Regulator AM Event.
Dr. Simon Waite
EASA Senior Expert – Materials
simon.waite [at] easa.europa.eu