Boeing and Northrop Sign Up for White House-backed Manufacturing Initiative

The voluntary program, announced by President Biden in May, intends to increase suppliers' use of additive manufacturing (AM). 

The voluntary program, announced by President Biden in May, intends to increase suppliers' use of additive manufacturing (AM). 

A Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner taxis at an assembly facility in North Charleston, SC. Image courtesy of REUTERS/Randall Hill.


Boeing Co and Northrop Grumman have joined a White House-backed compact to assist smaller U.S.-based suppliers who wish to advance use of 3D printing and other advanced manufacturing technologies.

The voluntary program, announced by President Joe Biden in May, has a goal to increase suppliers' use of additive manufacturing (AM). The Biden administration views it as an innovation that will enable U.S. manufacturers to remain profitable and create jobs.

The program, Additive Manufacturing Forward (AM Forward) is organized by nonprofit Applied Science & Technology Research Organization of America (ASTRO America).

GE Aviation, Siemens Energy, Raytheon Technologies, Honeywell and Lockheed Martin were the initial companies to come onboard.

The manufacturers report that they will purchase additively produced parts from smaller U.S. suppliers; train supplier workers on new additive technologies; provide technical assistance; and engage in standards development and certification.

Boeing and Northrop Grumman claim that they expect to increase the number of small- and medium-sized suppliers competing over quote packages for AM-based products. Boeing anticipates boosting its qualified small and medium supplier capacity by 30% and offering technical guidance to meet qualification requirements.

“We know the competitiveness of the U.S. industrial base, including Boeing, relies on the capability of a wide spectrum of suppliers producing and post-processing critical aerospace parts,” says Melissa Orme, Boeing's vice president for additive manufacturing.

Sources: Press materials received from the company and additional information gleaned from the company’s website.

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