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The future is here: Advanced Manufacturing for space

Written by  Wednesday, 13 October 2021 05:30
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3D printing titanium for ESA’s Athena

To go to new places in space, or do new things, usually demands innovative technologies, and often novel materials and manufacturing techniques as well. So ESA and NASA have teamed up to support a major international conference on Advanced Manufacturing – bringing together Industry 4.0 with Space 4.0.

3D-molded interconnect devices
3D-molded interconnect devices

Industry 4.0 on a space trajectory

In the Space 4.0 era, fuelled by digitalisation and the increased global interplay of governments, private sectors, academia and the society, the space community is making major advances through spin-in and technology maturation, and has equally become a stimulus for technology spin-offs.

As a result, space has become a driver not only for knowledge, inspiration, cooperation and policymaking, but also for high-end technology integration into the manufacturing domain. Closely intertwined with Space 4.0 is therefore the next industrial revolution, Industry 4.0 – an era that is already showcasing the benefits of increased connectivity, intelligence, flexible automation and advanced manufacturing in the industrial landscape.

Today, smart and advanced manufacturing technologies including 3D printing, virtual testing, big data-driven and quality control processes are altering the manufacturing supply chain, progressively increasing customer value and supply chain efficiency.

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