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IRT Saint Exupéry at the 1st Aerospace Additive Manufacturing Summit

Gilbert Casamatta (IRT Saint Exupéry), Yann Barbaux (Aerospace Valley), Ariel Sirat (IRT Saint Exupéry) and Nadia Pellefigue (Occitania Region). Photo Comsci pour IRT Saint Exupéry.
More than 480 professionals met during this 1st Aerospace Additive Manufacturing Summit (AAMS) on Nov. 21-22 to Toulouse-Labège, organized by the Aerospace Valley cluster, in partnership with Madeeli.

A strong IRTs network with « FIT additive manufacturing »

During the conferences day, industrial challenges, technological processes and locks, market structures and perspectives were highlighted. The Round Table on “Additive Manufacturing, a disruptive technology for the aerospace industry?Nathalie Duquesne, Research and Technology Director and Technical Manager at Liebherr Aerospace and director of the IRT Saint-Exupéry COST, underlined the creation of a real national community around the additive manufacturing thanks to the networks of the CORAC and the several IRTs. Gilles Surdon, Head of Engineering and Process Simulation at Dassault Aviation completed these words by specifying that many French R&D activities are carried out with the IRTs, the research laboratories in alignment with the GIFAS Roadmaps. For Thierry Thomas, Additive Manufacturing Director at Safran, France is now really able to play a significant role in Europe thanks to those several initiatives. Giving access to SMEs and mid-size companies to expensive machines and means through a whole network of additive manufacturing platforms is a key enabler in order to minimize the technological risks and prepare the supply chain.

Ariel Sirat, CEO of IRT Saint-Exupéry, during his speech on “The IRTs, a structuring network for the Additive Manufacturing in France?” has detailed those initiatives aiming to reinforce the French industry’s competitiveness. The Additive Manufacturing inter-IRT agreement, signed in 2016 within FIT (French Institute of Technology), has established the conditions of an optimization of the IRTs activities in this field. This initiative, coordinated by the IRT Saint-Exupéry, involves 4 IRTs, Jules Verne, M2P, Saint Exupéry and SystemX.

B2B and the SMEs additive manufacturing pack

The following day dedicated to business meetings was also fruitful with more than 22 actors who met the IRT Saint Exupéry team, among which 5 will probably lead to closer collaborations. IRT Saint Exupéry has promoted on its booth a key SMEs initiative in 2017: the launch of the SMEs additive manufacturing pack thanks to the cooperation between the IRT Saint Exupéry, the Occitanie Region, Madeeli, Aerospace Valley and UIMM Occitanie. The offer for accessing the IRT Saint Exupéry additive manufacturing platform was set up for prototyping operations, prototype testing and characterisation. The first users of the pack were up to the challenge. You will find below links to leaflets and video on the platform presented on the booth.

Regional dynamics

During the visit of the regional delegation on the booth of the IRT Saint-Exupéry located on the “Occitania village”, Gilbert Casamatta presented to Nadia Pellefigue (Occitanie Region) the actual status of the activities. A personalized object made on our platform was hand over to her. “The Occitanie already gathers multiple skills on the whole value chain: big contractors, pioneers of the manufacturing, engineering consulting firms, R&D centres such as IRT Saint-Exupéry” indicated Christophe Nicot (Madeeli). “We have everything to become one of the territories which matter in the field of the additive manufacturing, that’s why we mobilize us for accompanying the actors and amplifying the current dynamics” declared Nadia Pellefigue.