Leonardo takes part in MAM4HP, EU research programme on Additive Manufacturing

06 March 2024

Under the National Recovery and Resilience Plan (PNRR), Leonardo is involved in the Metallic Additive Manufacturing for High Performances (MAM4HP) research programme, financed by the European Union through the NextGenerationEU funds. The project focuses on the development of some mechanical components of transmission systems produced by Additive Manufacturing.

Redesign, via additive manufacturing, the NGCTR's Complex Gearbox Housing (Next Generation Civil Tiltrotor, a programme funded by the European Commission through Clean Sky 2-Horizon 2020, for the development of a new civil tiltrotor), which represents a component of high geometric and functional complexity, currently produced using traditional processes: this is the core of the Metallic Additive Manufacturing for High Performances (MAM4HP) research project, funded by the European Union - NextGenerationEU, through which Leonardo will obtain a contribution of 87,475.00 euros provided on a grant basis. The project will be carried out in partnership with leading companies in their sectors such as Ducati, Bonfiglioli, Poggipolini, Altair and Juno, as well as with the involvement of the University of Bologna and the Polytechnic University of Turin.

The programme is financed by BI-REX through a public announcement in June 2023. Among the 8 national Competence Centres established by the Ministry of Enterprises and Made in Italy as part of the government's Industry 4.0 plan, BI-REX is a public-private consortium focused on Big Data, bringing together in partnership 60 players including universities, Research Centres and companies of excellence in the sector.

The 18-month MAM4HP project will include a structural optimisation phase and a critical analysis phase of the starting component, with eventual redesign by additive aimed at incorporating (where possible) assemblies or functions into the smallest possible number of elements. Its objectives are multifaceted, providing an in-depth look at various aspects of the design and process phases associated with the fabrication of a helicopter crankcase using additive technology, while defining a design guideline for the fabrication of similar components characterised by high geometric complexity and high design requirements.

The main technical objectives are: product optimisation, through the exploitation of the advantages derived from Design for Additive Manufacturing; process optimisation, through the study of the production process and inspection methodologies; and techno-economic evaluation, as this case study will provide the basic elements to make preliminary assessments, in terms of forecast estimates and KPIs, for the creation of future dedicated business cases.

Achieving these objectives will enable Leonardo Helicopters to increase the competitiveness of its products, thanks to the introduction of ALM techniques in helicopter components or subassemblies.