Reliable production and identification of aircraft components and tools manufactured in the future using additive manufacturing processes

Key Info

Basic Information

01.07.2018 to 30.06.2021
Organizational Unit:
Chair of Production Metrology and Quality Management, Model-based Systems
Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy BMWi, German Aerospace Center DLR

Research partner

    • NXP Semiconductors Germany GmbH
    • Lufthansa Technik AG
    • ESI Group
    • Fraunhofer Gesellschaft e. V.


In the aviation industry, there are signs of a change that could bring about lasting changes in the manufacturing and logistics structures of the entire industry. Instead of purchasing components from suppliers, aircraft manufacturers could in future manufacture them themselves using additive manufacturing processes. These offer enormous potential with regard to the logistical optimisation of existing processes, but also with regard to the mechanical properties of components and tools, for example in weight savings through topologically optimised component designs. In this context, however, new challenges also arise in the digital exchange of information, copy protection and authentication of aircraft parts and spare parts, which can be reproduced without great effort when accessing the digital model and thus falsified.


The PrintAndTrack research project investigates the development and testing of a technology for integrating RFID chips into the additive manufacturing process to identify original parts and prevent reverse engineering.

In this context, the Chair of Manufacturing Metrology and Quality Management is investigating the quality assurance of the additive manufactured components as well as the chip integration by integrating suitable measurement technologies into the process chain. The focus is on the identification of features to evaluate the quality of the additive manufactured components (and the manufacturing processes) as well as the tomographic localization of the RFID chip. For this purpose, various measurement methods and processes are selected and developed for testing the defined quality features and validated experimentally. Finally, a concept for a high degree of automation of the developed quality assurance measures is developed.