AM technologies are expected to enhance defence capabilities as mobility, sustainability, effect and protection. They have a strong potential for enhanced circularity: efficient use of resources, increased reusability, repairability and remanufacturing of products, as well as specific advantages for the logistics of spare parts.
By implementing deployable AM repair and maintenance solutions on site on missions, it is possible to reduce the ‘military logistic footprint’ in terms of costs, infrastructure, personnel and availability significantly. AM solutions can be produced for multipurpose on demand when- and wherever required. This has a relevant impact on the logistic supply chain for military assets where a large volume of inventory and supplies is constantly maintained in warehouses or deployed to ensure operational readiness. In addition, AM also may bring additional benefits to the defence sector, as it allows repair, rapid prototyping and limited-run on-demand production of parts no longer available.
Moreover, there are many specific aspects in which the additive manufacturing greatly contributes to the optimization of the redesign and production processes, e.g. the reduction in the use of materials.
Key activities foreseen
- Definition of a roadmap, guiding the development lines from the present scenario towards the fully fledged circular additive manufacturing in defence;
- Evaluation of additive manufacturing potential to reduce the environmental impact (reduction of raw materials use, production waste and energy consumption, increasing the reusability of the waste material), analysing also the impact in the logistic footprint;
- Standards for deployable military AM equipment to contribute to circularity.
The themes embedded within this Project Circle have been developed within the concerned EDA working bodies, such as the Materials Capability Technology Group (CapTech) and Project Team (PT) Logistics.
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