INMA (Innovative Manufacturing of complex Ti sheet components)
The INMA project's aim has been to develop an intelligent knowledge-based (KB) flexible manufacturing technology for titanium shaping which would lead to drastically reduce current aircraft development costs incurred by the fabrication of complex titanium sheet components with a minimal environmental impact. In particular, this project aimed at strengthening European aircraft industry competitiveness, by transforming the current non-flexible and cost intensive forming processes into a rapid and agile manufacturing process. This brand new technology, based on Asymmetric incremental sheet forming (AISF), was initiated to transform the way many titanium sheet aeronautical components such as after pylon fairings, fan blades, exhaust ducts or air collectors are manufactured today. The innovative, cost-efficient and ecological forming technology to shape complex geometries in titanium that will contribute to strengthen the European aircraft industry competitiveness meeting society's needs.
Currently, aircraft industry uses complicated and cost intensive forming processes to shape complex Ti sheet components, such as deep drawing, hot forming, super plastic forming (SPF) and hydroforming. In some cases parts are even obtained by hand working. These techniques show severe drawbacks which include high costs, long industrialisation phases and high energy consumption rates. On the contrary, main features of the innovative AISF technology was an increased flexibility, cost reduction, minimised energy consumption and a speed up in the industrialization phase.
The major impacts of the results obtained in the INMA project are:
Cost incurred by dedicated tooling reduced in a 80%
The component lead times decreased in a 90%
Buy-to-fly ratios up to a 20% lower
The INMA Consortium was integrated by 2 end-users, 1 equipment provider, 4 research organisations, 3 universities and the EASN association.
For more information, you can view the INMA project summary here.