Air New Zealand has collaborated with ST Engineering and Moog to use blockchain and 3D printing to install a part on a Boeing 777-300 aircraft.
The proof of concept saw Air New Zealand order a digital aircraft part file from Singapore-based ST Engineering. The digital file was sent to an approved printer, operated by Moog in Los Angeles, downloaded and 3D-printed before being installed within hours on an Air New Zealand Boeing 777-300 aircraft ahead of its scheduled departure.
The entire transaction, from purchase to installation, was logged in Moogs VeriPart digital supply chain system, which is powered by Microsoft Azure Cloud technology.
The file was for a bumper part, which sits behind the airlines Business Premier monitors and prevents the screen from damaging the seat when its pushed in.
“Transformative” for airlines
Carrie Hurihanganui, Air New Zealand Chief Ground Operations Officer, said: “Being able to 3D print certain components on the go would be transformative and drive significant efficiencies and sustainability benefits. Rather than having the cost associated with purchasing, shipping and storing physical parts and potentially having to fly an aircraft with an unavailable seat, this system would allow us to print a part when and where we need it in hours.”
VeriPart is used for assuring the data, process and performance integrity of 3D-printed parts for aerospace applications.
The VeriPart blockchain platform allows an engineering partner to release its intellectual property in a controlled way.
The airline is then only able to 3D-print the number of parts it requires on demand. The newly printed part is securely authenticated and traceable via VeriPart.