Siemens Heads up IDEA: Line Integration of Additive Manufacturing Processes

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Siemens has just announced a new three-year project called Industrial implementation of digital engineering and additive manufacturing (IDEA), as part of the “Line integration of additive manufacturing processes (LAF)” funding initiative, created by the German Ministry of Education and Research under the Photonic Research Germany Program—with grant funds of almost €14 million.

While 3D printing and additive manufacturing offer a wide range of benefits to industrial companies today, and users of all types around the world, speed can still be an issue in manufacturing. IDEA was created to speed up development and production times in AM processing of metal parts by an ambitious 50 percent, complementing the ability to also produce complex geometries easily, including parts like turbine blades, transmission components, and engine parts—as well as large volumes of customized products.

Fourteen partners from around the world, all engaged in business and science, will be working to further refine AM processes, including the entire process chain from 3D design and choice of materials, for:

  • 3D printing
  • Quality control
  • Heat treatment
  • Post-processing

“Within IDEA, Siemens is taking a clear leadership role in helping to shape the industrialization of additive manufacturing,” remarks Markus Seibold, head of Additive Manufacturing at Siemens Gas and Power. “In an interdisciplinary industrial partnership, we can work faster and more efficiently than any company can do in isolation.”

The blades had to endure 13,000 revolutions per minute and temperatures beyond 1,250 degrees Celsius.

Partners in the project include:

  • Hardware and software suppliers ALLMATIC, BCT, Jenoptik, ModuleWorks, and Siemens Digital Industries
  • Industrial 3D printing solutions providers EOS and TRUMPF
  • Industrial 3D printing users Liebherr-Aerospace, MBFZ toolcraft GmbH, MTU Aero Engines, and Siemens Gas and Power

As IDEA progresses, the priority of the team of partners is to ‘further industrialize AM for Germany’s industrial sector.’ They plan to offer better access to hardware and software that link efficiently, as well as transforming manual process to digitized, instilling further productivity through:

  • Using consistent data formats
  • Simulating processes
  • Using a modern production control system
  • End-to-end recording of production data

The investment of €30 million in the state-of-the-art 3D printing facility at Materials Solutions Ltd. in the UK enables the growth of the business by doubling the capacity of 3D-printing machines to 50. The new factory has a footprint of 4,500 m2 and is adopting a true industrial approach, housing multiple machines across a shop floor.

“A development and implementation phase will be followed by a validation process in the second half of the project. This will involve measuring how well the targets have been achieved based on manufacturing demonstrator components in two pilot lines. The prototypes for industrial production lines will be built in the Siemens gas turbine factory in Berlin and at MBFZ toolcraft GmbH in Georgensgmünd,” states Siemens in their recent press release.

“The requirements of small and medium-sized enterprises as well as those of large industry will be taken into account and implemented in the additive manufacturing lines.”

Siemens is involved in many different areas of industry today, but they have established  clear niche in 3D printing from a collaboration with HP to offering new software, and even getting involved with 3D printing processes in railways. What do you think of this news? Let us know your thoughts! Join the discussion of this and other 3D printing topics at 3DPrintBoard.com.

[Source / Images: Siemens press release]

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