Sciaky, Inc. is a Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business (SDVOSB) that provides advanced welding systems and services. It has recently entered a U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) Mentor-Protégé Agreement with the Aeronautics business area of global security giant Lockheed Martin.
With assistance from the DoD Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) program, Sciaky, a subsidiary of Phillips Service Industries (PSI), has developed an innovative manufacturing process to build or repair metal parts called Electron Beam Direct Manufacturing, which combines additive manufacturing (AM) principles, computer-aided design (CAD) and electron beam welding technology.
Starting with a 3D model from a CAD program, Sciaky’s fully-articulated, moving electron beam gun deposits metal, layer by layer, until the part is ready for finish machining. Depending on the part being manufactured, deposition rates can range from 15 to 40 lb of metal per hour.
The DoD and the manufacturing industry have identified Electron Beam Direct Manufacturing technology for repair and discrete part production as a “game changer,” meaning it could redefine and advance the current state-of-the-art in aerospace manufacturing.
Under the Mentor-Protégé Agreement, Lockheed Martin Aeronautics will help Sciaky expand the manufacturing capacity and management infrastructure to deliver affordable, high quality, innovative titanium raw material pre-forms in quantities that will support future DoD and prime contractor needs. The initial focus of this agreement will be on manufacturing titanium structural components for Lockheed Martin’s F-35 aircraft program.
“While the early focus is going to be F-35, we ultimately plan to implement Electron Beam Direct Manufacturing technology across the breadth of our aircraft product lines to improve affordability and lead-time for titanium structures,” said Brian Rosenberger, Affordability Lead for Improvements & Derivatives at Lockheed Martin Aeronautics.
The DoD Mentor-Protégé Program, established in 1991, assists small businesses (protégés) in competing for prime contract and subcontract awards by partnering with large companies (mentors) under individual, project-based agreements.