Boost from the Aerospace Industry
Text: Thomas Masuch; Photos: ISRO, Wipro 3D
Additive manufacturing is also gaining momentum in India
India is now one of the world's largest economic powers. Additive manufacturing, too, is gaining ever more momentum in this country of 1.3 billion inhabitants. One of the main driving forces is the Indian aerospace industry. For example, Wipro 3D recently announced that it has produced India’s first functional metal component in space: an aluminium RF antenna for the ISRO GSAT-19 communication satellite.
Labelled the North-West Feed Cluster 2x2, it was designed by the Space Application Centre, Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), and then additively engineered and manufactured by Wipro 3D in close collaboration with ISRO scientists. It stands approximately 320 mm tall with a wall thickness of 2mm. It was developed using a range of Additive Manufacturing competencies and had cleared Assembly Vibration Test, Climatic Test and RF Tests before it took flight.
Outer space is a key market
“The space industry is one of our key focus markets”, states Ajay Parikh, Vice President and Business Head at Wipro 3D, a metal Additive Manufacturing Solutions & Services provider based in Bangalore, India. Wipro 3D has also provided AM components for ISRO’s structures and communications programs. “Soon, we will be contributing to Indian propulsion programs as well”, says Parikh.
Wipro 3D was founded in 2012 and belongs to the Indian Wipro Group, which has turnover of more than 8 billion dollars with its workforce of 174,000. The additive manufacturing subsidiary now has 20 employees, a range of equipment that includes numerous EOS machines (M280, M290, M400), as well as a material characterization and testing laboratory. This allows the company to produce not only for customers in India but also for partners in Europe and North America. In the future, it plans to further tap into markets other than aerospace and defence – for example, medical engineering, oil and gas, and other industries.