Study visit to Arcam and Ruag!

Study visit to Arcam and Ruag!

Good day readers!

As you regular readers know we graduate engineers sometimes conduct study visits to companies of interest to us. In part during our activity weeks, where we travel for a whole week, but we also go on day trips to companies located closer to home. Last week we had the pleasure of visiting Arcam in Mölndal and Ruag Space in Gothenburg. Lots of fun!

Arcam is a world leading company in additive manufacturing (AM). A more common term of AM is 3D-printing. This is a modern technology which is a very hot topic within aerospace engineering today and which will likely change the foundation of classic production methods such as milling and chucking. An important reason why AM is such a hot topic for the aerospace business is that it will allow for the production of much more complex geometries than is allowed by classic production methods. By opening this door a lot of weight in an airplane can be saved and saving weight of flying products infers a possibility of making a lot of money.

At Arcam we were given a presentation of what types of AM methods exist today, which of these Arcam focuses on and what possibilities AM brings. We also had a tour of Arcams production and assembling of new AM machines.

Ruag in turn is a company which develops and manufactures electrical components for use in the space industry. Among other things they make the guidance computers for the Ariane 5 – the ESA heavy lift rocket – and circuit boards for satellites. In contrast with Arcams visionary technologies Ruag is a company which uses very experienced and proven technology. As the cost of an Ariane 5 launch is hundreds of millions of dollars Ruag is a company where quality is a strong focus. Strong computational power is therefore not a focus of these products. If a personal computer crashes there will likely not be any big consequences but if a guidance computer to Ariane 5 would crash during a launch this would lead to very big consequences.

Apart from a presentation of Ruags products and business we also had a tour of their facility in Gothenburg where we were shown their production, their clean room and their vibration test centre among other things. As usual we had a very interesting and fun time conducting these study visits. Now we look forward until next week when we will visit a few companies in Germany!


Over and out

Joakim Åhman

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