How intelligent automation and networking of 3D printing and post processing increases productivity -

How intelligent automation and networking of 3D printing and post processing increases productivity –

The Additive Manufacturing (AM) Processes market continues to grow and will even grow fivefold by 2030, according to SmarTech Analysis. More and more companies are taking a step towards the factory of the future as standardization advances in industry-wide additive manufacturing . Furthermore, the benefits of additive manufacturing are compelling: lower inventory costs due to individual post-production of parts, a higher degree of specific product configurations and flexible prototyping of complex geometries.

However, AM is still often found in prototyping, small batch production or as a supplement to mass production lines. The main challenge still lies in the long production time of a component in the AM system, while the upstream and downstream production steps have significantly shorter cycle times. But companies starting right here can save up to 70% of their manufacturing costs and make their AM suitable for (large-scale) mass production. Such as? With intelligent automation and networking of the individual steps of the AM process using state-of-the-art transport, handling and software technology. In this way, companies enable an optimal flow of materials, lower costs per part and a safer working environment for employees.

Four reasons for automation

1. Greater efficiency and productivity

Due to automation, the printing process is networked and intelligently synchronized with downstream process steps (post-processing) that have significantly shorter cycle times. A practical example: while the part is still being printed in system 1, the finished construction work of system 2 is already transported to the downstream stations as unpacking and inspection; system 2 can already start the next print. No manual intervention is required, so production can continue even if the operators are not on duty.

Also, there is no downtime – both in line and on the machine side. Employees can focus on more challenging tasks during the shift.

Exchange and transport solutions for a fully automated process chain and various construction jobs are a row for laser sintering

2. Lower cost per part

The intelligent networking of individual production steps enables companies to do maximum use of equipment. Companies increase the workload of all equipment along the process chain and avoid unnecessary investments. For example, automation allows machines to be used in three-shift operations, even if only one or two shifts are occupied by employees.

In this way, not only companies optimize production times and use of machines (OEE) but eventually also produce at lower cost per part.

Separate collection solutions with camera-based parts detection and robot-based sorting offer a significant advantage for mass customization.

3. Enable occupational health and safety

During post-processing of 3D printed parts, there are health risks from exposure to fine dust and handling of hot objects. Using automated guided vehicles (AGVs) with suitable sealed transport solutions, customized interfaces and accessories for machines and transport lines installed, the exposure to dust for employees and the Risk of injury from hot objects are reduced.

Inert gas container and docking station for fully automated and dust-proof transport in an EOS M 400 system environment

4. Repeatability and reproducibility

By always carrying out the individual process steps in the same way, unwanted influence on the often still delicate production process is minimized. The path is cleared 24/7 mass production and a light factory.

Smart automation and networking with the right partner

The networking of the various work steps in AM processes is essential for a successful factory of the future. In addition, it is essential to have a reliable and experienced partner at your side to meet the challenges of additive mass production. Grenzebach and the ideal partner for automating and networking individual process steps in additive powder bed manufacturing. Together with leading manufacturers of industrial 3D printers and post-processing equipment, Grenzebach develops individual solutions: from individual machines to holistic automation concepts. Customers benefit from Grenzebach’s broad range of digital transport, gearbox, separate collection, dedusting and combined solutions for increased efficiency and a smooth workflow.

Grenzebach is also active as a partner in research projects such as NextGenAM and Polyline. The latter focuses on Additive Manufacturing mass production of plastic components. Here, the company provides automated hardware and software interfaces as well as holistic solutions for material flow and transportation between individual processes.

With manufacturing sites in Germany, Romania, the United States and China, as well as additional service locations around the world, Grenzebach offers global on-site service and contact.

Meet the Grenzebach experts – live

Companies can meet the AM experts from Grenzebach and explore the company’s latest automation solutions at the largest and most important trade show for additive manufacturing in the United States RAPID + TCT from 17 to 19 May 2022, at Huntington Place Detroit, stand 1131.

In addition, customers can arrange an individual guided tour through the dynamic and innovative “365 days Grenzebach World” in Grenzebach in Hamlar (Germany) – digitally or on site – to learn about the latest automation solutions for 3D technologies.

Don’t participate in RAPID?

Meet the Grenzebach experts, live or digitally

Do you want to know more about Grenzebach technologies and solutions? Come and explore our dynamic and innovative “365 days Grenzebach World” in Hamlar (Germany) – digitally or on site – to learn about the latest automation solutions for 3D technologies.

More information about Grenzebach can be found by clicking on the embedded link, or you can contact [email protected].

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