Desktop Metal | September 20, 2023
Desktop Metal, a global leader in Additive Manufacturing (AM) technologies, has released a video highlighting how the BMW Group employs ExOne binder jet 3D printers for the serial production of powertrain components.
The use of binder jet 3D printing for casting applications is a sustainable choice, with advantages like reduced waste, cost-efficiency, and flexibility in materials. It aligns with efforts to minimize environmental impact and reduce emissions.
BMW and ExOne, a brand under Desktop Metal, have collaborated for over two decades on various project developments. The automaker currently utilizes four ExOne Exerial binder jet 3D printing systems to produce water jacket cores for metalcasting in serial production. These systems operate continuously at high speeds, with two more slated for delivery. The setup includes a microwave, a desanding station, and a fully automated conveyor system, ensuring high-accuracy parts.
The key points to be noted from this video release are:
Desktop Metal's ExOne digital casting brand manufactures binder jet 3D printers for sand castings.
BMW Landshut uses a fleet of four ExOne 3D printers for serial production of cores made with inorganic compounds that produce no aromas or emissions.
Binder injection technology from ExOne enables the delivery of complex designs for cast aluminum powertrain components.
Binder jetting is employed in this process, where an industrial printhead deposits a binder selectively into a bed of powder materials, creating a solid part layer by layer. For sand casting, the sand part is removed and used in a mold package for casting molten metal. This technology is favored for its speed, minimal waste, cost-efficiency, and material flexibility, making it an environmentally sustainable production method.
The partnership showcases how advanced manufacturing technologies, like binder jet 3D printing, are used to enhance efficiency and sustainability in the production of critical automotive components. The technology's ability to produce parts with high accuracy at high speeds makes it a valuable asset in the automotive manufacturing process.
About Desktop Metal
Desktop Metal is at the forefront of Additive Manufacturing 2.0 in a new era characterized by on-demand, digital mass production of industrial, medical, and consumer goods. Its innovative 3D printers, software, and materials suite are engineered to meet the speed, cost efficiency, and part quality demands inherent to this transformative shift. Its systems can 3D print various materials, including polymer, metal, ceramics, foam, sand, and recycled wood. It streamlines operations, minimizes waste, reduces costs, enhances adaptability, and brings designs that tackle some of the intricate challenges to life.
3D Systems | September 15, 2023
3D Systems has completed its strategic initiative to insource the manufacturing of two key printer platforms, metal and polymer production printers, transferring this activity from two electronics manufacturing services (EMS) partners. This move empowers 3D Systems to control the entire manufacturing process, from design to production, with the aim of delivering high-quality, innovative products to its customers.
The insourcing activities occurred in France, Riom, and Rock Hill, South Carolina. The company now controls the entire manufacturing process, from design to production, to provide customers with innovative, high-quality products. In addition, with this enhanced manufacturing process control, 3D Systems has matched or enhanced production quality and decreased lead times to meet customer demand.
By bringing manufacturing in-house, 3D Systems can now offer products of superior quality and innovation to its customers. This strategic shift enables 3D Systems to strengthen quality control, reduce manufacturing cycle times, and expedite the introduction of new products to enhance customer satisfaction by shortening lead times, increasing product support, and allowing process customization to meet unique customer needs.
President & CEO of 3D Systems, Dr. Jeffrey Graves, remarked,
We’re pleased to achieve this major milestone which is catalyzing our ability to deliver enhanced quality, and pioneering innovation for our customers. We began our insourcing initiative last year by consolidating the production of multiple polymer 3D printing platforms into our Rock Hill, South Carolina facility.
He emphasized that, since undertaking this initiative last year, lead times have shortened each quarter, and they believe that this activity, in conjunction with other actions, puts them on the path to reduce overall inventory by over 20% in 2024.
Dr. Graves stated that they have experienced dramatic improvements in both quality and cost, as well as the ability to accelerate the introduction of new products to meet the market’s continuously evolving needs, while the decision to insource is helping them to better utilize the assets and internal resources, reducing costs that align with their financial commitments to shareholders.
About 3D Systems
3D Systems, a pioneer in the field of 3D printing, offers additive manufacturing solutions, delivering innovation, performance, and dependability in every interaction. Its mission is to enable consumers to realize previously inconceivable products and business models. 3D Systems provides application-specific solutions that leverage the knowledge of their application engineers by providing a comprehensive array of hardware, software, materials, and services. These engineers work closely with consumers to revolutionize the way in which the company delivers its products and services. The solutions of 3D Systems appeal to advanced applications in various sectors.
Robotics and Automation
Clearpath Robotics | September 07, 2023
Rockwell Automation, a global company specializing in digital transformation and industrial automation, has announced its definitive agreement to acquire Clearpath Robotics, a frontrunner in autonomous robotics. This acquisition aims to bolster Rockwell's expertise in autonomous production logistics and augment the realization of the Connected Enterprise concept.
As per the analysis of Interact, the autonomous mobile robots (AMR) market in manufacturing is anticipated to increase by approximately 30% annually over the next five years, reaching an estimated $6.2 billion in 2027.
The acquisition addresses the complex and labor-intensive task of material transportation within manufacturing facilities, optimizing operations and efficiency. AMRs, coupled with PLC-based line control, offer versatility across various industries, from automotive to consumer packaged goods. The integration of autonomous mobile robots into manufacturing processes will revolutionize the transportation of parts and materials within assembly lines, minimizing inefficiencies and production bottlenecks.
Chairman and CEO at Rockwell Automation, Blake Moret, emphasized,
Rockwell and Clearpath together will simplify the difficult and labor-intensive task of moving materials and product through an orchestrated and safe system to optimize operations throughout the entire manufacturing facility.
[Source: Business Wire]
The combination of autonomous robots and PLC-based line control has been a longstanding aspiration of plant managers in various industries, said Blake Moret. He added that with Clearpath, Rockwell has asserted that it is uniquely positioned to turn this aspiration into reality across nearly all discrete and hybrid verticals, with the aim of operations, optimizing planning, and the workforce. The data generated by Rockwell and OTTO Motors will be utilized in AI-powered Software-as-a-Service applications, enhancing efficiency, traceability, and real-time adjustments in manufacturing processes. The acquisition will also strengthen Kalypso's production logistics consulting practice.
Clearpath's OTTO Motors Division, offering AMRs and navigation software, reduces costs, enhances throughput, and ensures timely component availability. With Rockwell's existing partnerships in fixed robotic arms, leadership in programmable logic controllers and Independent Cart Technology solutions, OTTO Motors' addition of AMR capabilities completes an unparalleled advanced material handling solutions portfolio. The acquisition will be financed partially by the proceeds from the sale of Rockwell's investment in PTC and is subject to customary regulatory approval, expected to conclude in the first quarter of Rockwell's fiscal year 2024.
About Rockwell Automation
Rockwell Automation is a prominent global leader in industrial automation and digital transformation. Its mission revolves around human imagination with cutting-edge technology, thus amplifying human capabilities and contributing to a more productive and sustainable world. It has played a pivotal role in shaping the modern manufacturing landscape by providing solutions that enable companies to optimize their operations, increase efficiency, and reduce downtime.
About Clearpath Robotics
Clearpath Robotics is a global player in the field of autonomous technology. The company serves a diverse array of the most innovative brands through two distinct divisions: its research-focused Clearpath Robotics division and the industrial division known as OTTO Motors. Clearpath Robotics is dedicated to the mission of automating tasks that are often mundane, hazardous, or dirty, utilizing Autonomous Mobile Robots to enhance workplace safety and productivity.
Business Wire | October 04, 2023
Desktop Metal, Inc., a global leader in additive manufacturing technologies for mass production, today announced the launch of Live Monitor™ — a software application that provides useful real-time data from printing systems to improve efficiency and management of one printing system or a full fleet.
Part of the Live Suite™ package of exclusive software offerings from Desktop Metal, Live Monitor provides easy access to system data from any web browser at any time. The new offering has helpful dashboards to manage a fleet or drill down on printer or furnace performance in ways that assist capacity planning, maintenance management, and more. Real-time information includes job and event status, time reporting, and consumable usage, among other key metrics.
“At Desktop Metal, we’re committed to driving additive manufacturing into production, and Live Monitor is a vital tool for managing a single productive printing system, such as a Shop System and Furnace, or an entire fleet,” said Ric Fulop, Founder and CEO of Desktop Metal. “Our goal is to help users improve their Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) to optimize their utilization and scale their business with ease.”
Italy-based Aidro, a pioneer in the volume production of next-generation hydraulic and fluid power systems through metal AM and traditional manufacturing technologies, has been a beta tester of Live Monitor for its Desktop Metal Shop System and Furnace for the past year.
“Live Monitor is an essential tool for keeping the most important process variables under control and giving customers with critical parts, such as those in the energy industry, visibility and traceability of AM part production,” said Valeria Tirelli, President and CEO of Aidro, a subsidiary of Desktop Metal. Aidro will be exhibiting at ADIPEC, a global energy industry event, to be held in Abu Dhabi today through Oct. 5 in Booth M1 of the Manufacturing and Industrialization Hall. “The variables are visible, customizable, and recordable and this is the basis for having a qualified process. Thanks also to this tool, DNV has awarded Aidro AM manufacturer certification in accordance with the DNV-ST-B203 standard. Compared to other systems, Live Monitor can be customized in a simple and efficient way depending on the specific needs of the user.”
An optional add-on feature in Live Suite, Live Monitor will be offered to users of the Studio, Shop, and Production System printers, along with Desktop Metal branded furnaces. The feature will also be rolled out in the future to users of other Desktop Metal and Team DM equipment sold under the ExOne, Desktop Health, and ETEC brands.
About Desktop Metal
Desktop Metal is driving Additive Manufacturing 2.0, a new era of on-demand, digital mass production of industrial, medical, and consumer products. Our innovative 3D printers, materials, and software deliver the speed, cost, and part quality required for this transformation. We’re the original inventors and world leaders of the 3D printing methods we believe will empower this shift, binder jetting and digital light processing. Today, our systems print metal, polymer, sand and other ceramics, as well as foam and recycled wood. Manufacturers use our technology worldwide to save time and money, reduce waste, increase flexibility, and produce designs that solve the world’s toughest problems and enable once-impossible innovations.