Global safety science company, UL, has announced that Lockheed Martin’s Additive Design and Manufacturing Center (ADMC) in California has become the first organisation to be certified to UL 3400, a set of safety guidelines that address the various hazards associated with additive manufacturing (AM) facilities.
UL published UL 3400, Outline of Investigation for Additive Manufacturing Facility Safety Management, last year which considers three levels of safety: material, equipment and the facility as a whole. The guideline references applicable standards from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the National Fire Protection Association, UL and ASTM International among others.
“Employers, employees, local regulators as well as insurance companies who have to underwrite additive manufacturing facilities, were not fully aware of the inherent material and technology risks,” said Balu V. Nair, UL’s additive manufacturing lead development engineer. “Safety is designed rather than built. Not a single standard or statutory guideline was available that specifically focused on additive manufacturing. Other standards and guidelines were developed for conventional manufacturing processes. We decided to address this industry need by developing a set of guidelines with exclusive focus on additive manufacturing.”
The ADMC is a 6,775-square-foot 3D printing research centre which focuses on technology that supports Lockheed Martin’s military, commercial and civil space portfolio. Its charter is to bridge the gap between materials research and the manufacturing floor so engineers can design and produce superior satellite parts faster and at lower cost.
“Lockheed Martin built the first 3D printed parts bound for deep space on the Juno spacecraft, and we’ve been at the forefront of additive manufacturing ever since. This facility builds on our 60 years of Silicon Valley research and decades of satellite manufacturing expertise, so we can launch lighter, more affordable products faster,” said Thomas Malko, vice president of Engineering & Technology at Lockheed Martin Space. “Lockheed Martin’s ultimate goal is to build satellites in half the time and cost, and this facility will accelerate that capability for our customers. Now with UL certification, we can move forward with confidence, both within the company and with our customers, showing we are paving the way for the factory of the future.”