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  • Writer's pictureMatthias Bringezu

Global Additive Application Summit 2019

Updated: Sep 30, 2020

Last week RedCabin hosted in collaboration with BigRep and Voxeljet the Global Additive Application Summit.

Global Additive Application Summit

Global Additive Application Summit

The Global Additive Manufacturing Summit was opened with welcome words by Tim Wischeropp (Head of Department AM Design & Quality Assurance, Fraunhofer IAPT ) and Martin Back (Managing Director of BigRep). Tim provided a good overview of the various activities in research and industrialization of Additive Manufacturing technologies at the IAPT, formerly known as Laser Zentrum Nord, in Hamburg. But Tim also highlighted the challenges industrial Additive Manufacturing is facing today and explained why industry collaborations with research and higher education are so important.

Stefanie Brickwede (Managing Director of Mobility goes Additive/ Head of 3DP by Deutsche Bahn) held the first speaker from industry. Stefanie explained in her presentation ‘How additive is changing the railway business in Europe’ Deutsche Bahn’s / German Railway’s need for spare-parts on-demand and highlighted the benefits of an additive supply chain. She pointed out that Deutsche Bahn is a heavy user of AM technologies already. The most impressive part shown was a heavily loaded part on the German ICE high-speed trains. The traditional manufacturing process has been changed over to Wire Arc Additive Manufacturing (WAAM). The parts have passed a tough testing regime, including low cycle fatigues testing to comply with the stringent safety regulations. Stefanie further explained that Mobility goes Additive has diversified and is also building networks for Medical AM is called Medical goes Additive. Great work.

Low Cycle Fatigue (LCF) testing

Mounted part on ICE high-speed train

Stefanie’s presentation was followed by a speed-networking session, to make sure all of the about 60 attendees introduced themselves to each other. Even the US-Marine Corp had sent two of their staff, as the Marines are using AM to speed up their supply-chain. So it was good everyone was reminded to bring enough business cards beforehand.

Ulli Klenk (Principal Key Expert Additive Manufacturing of SIEMENS) provided in his presentation ‘Industrial Additive Manufacturing – a user perspective’ an detailed overview of how SIEMENS is utilising metal Additive Manufacturing. SIEMENS is using AM to speed up R&D cycles, reduce lead times, reduce stock through digital inventory; allowing production on demand. Further, Ulli touched on the reduction of the carbon footprint of SIEMENS, enabled through AM. One example of production parts Ulli shared, was a redesigned burner for industrial gas turbines (IGT), shown in the picture below. A great example of design for AM (DfAM), taking advantage of function integration, optimised cooling and design features to create self-supporting channels. Interestingly several post-process steps were eliminated completely as the new design runs cooler which does not require a thermal barrier coating (TBC). SIEMENS has been using L-PBF for a long time in a hybrid repair process of burner-tips, which. automates a time consuming manual repair but also allowing to upgrade the component to a more efficient design. Interestingly, Ulli Klenk referred to the nickel-base super-alloy IN718 with ‘as easy to process as butter’ in comparison to the materials SIEMENS want to use in the future. The need for materials like MAR-M247 comes from the aim to burn hydrogen in industrial gas-turbines. Further, being able to print hot and rotating parts, like high-pressure turbine blades, for serial production is a big goal on SIEMENS agenda.

L-PBF IGT burner Image courtesy: SIEMENS

Enabling Transportation Applications with Functional Materials and Simulation‘ was the title of the presentation of Jörg Schnorr (Senior Project Manager Automotive 3D Printing at BASF 3D Printing Solutions GmbH. Jörg shared examples of how the camper van manufacturer HYMER applied AM parts in their Vision Venture Concept. Further, he highlighted the advantages of AM to optimise components for Noise Vibration Hardness (NVH) what is a key criteria in automotive and public transport manufacturing. Also, Jörg emphasised that most AM technologies are far from Technology Readiness Level (TRL) 10 and he said, the industry is sick of over-promising. [Comment of the author: It is this kind of statements which separate technical experts from salespeople. Always refreshing to hear.] More about the Hymer Vision Concept and BASF’s involvement.

It followed the panel discussion “AM in Railway” with Stefanie Brickwede (Mobility goes Additive/ Head of 3DP at Deutsche Bahn) Jörg Schnorr (BASF 3D Printing Solutions GmbH) André Bialoscek (Bombardier) and moderated by Daniel Bühing (CIO – BigRep)

The discussion focused mainly on spare parts on demand. Replacement parts where the suppliers have closed shop ago or where re-tooling wouldn’t be a business case. But who would have thought, that regulations on fire resistance for trains and buses are way higher than for aeroplanes? The panellists agreed, that currently, the most common approach is to produce a one-2-one- copy or clone of the traditional design. The reason for this is the need for entire re-qualification in case of a redesign. Of course, this does not allow taking full advantage of the capabilities of AM but it is still offering economical advantages. Further, it was interesting to hear that full-color AM parts are a real game-changer. Full-colour parts allow to meet corporate design guidelines and thus to reduce post processing.

After the lunch-break, we split into two working groups. The first group explored different concepts for full-utilisation of the Laser Powder Bed Fusion (LPBF) process for the production of metal AM parts for Industrial Gas Turbine (IGT).

This workshop was hosted by Jan Bogner – R&D Engineer at Siemens AG. We discussed the pros and cons of different build orientations for best utilization of the system ( EOS M400-4). After the teams presented their approaches we had engaging discussions on what considerations the Engineers at SIEMENS had taken into account. So it was not only a very realistic theoretical scenario but actually a real business case. The parts discussed are exactly the ones being produced at SIEMENS L-PBF production plant in Finspång Sweden.

Group two had the title ‘The Future of Large Area Metal Additive Manufacturing‘ and was hosted by Michael R. Tucker – Lead Systems Engineer for Additive Manufacturing at GE Research. Michael provided a detailed overview of how GE utilizes metal AM technologies in general, but especially for large parts within GE’s aviation business. Especially interesting were the insights on recent developments on L-PBF systems to manufacture large diameter parts. It doesn’t always has to be the recoater to be the moving part to the next layer of metal powder.

GE’s L-PBF system with a rotating powder bed Image Courtesy: GE

In a second step, everyone in the group took a placement test to determine where the group stands on their ‘Additive Journey”. From there, everyone shared their main objectives for AM and what we see as the major hurdles for our organisations. Skills, Design for Additive Manufacturing (DfAM) and Technical maturity/ Technology Readiness Levels (TRLs) as a lack of process stability were some of the issues stated multiple times.

In a joined session, the two groups discussed results and learnings before Tim Wisheropp recaptured day and conclude the program. The day ended in a casual setting and we kept discussing over dinner and drinks. What a nice and informative day.

Day two started with a panel discussion with the title: ‘What is the next BIG thing in additive?’ moderated by Michael R. Tucker from GE Research.

The panellists were Jan De Pauw (CTO & Co-founder of ValCUN), Daniel Bühning (CIO of BigRep) and Jan Bogner (R&D Engineer for LPBF at Siemens AG) Discussed were key enablers for wider adoption of Additive Manufacturing. The technical maturity of AM technologies, monitoring solutions but also process costs were the major pain points.

Dr. Sven Lammers (Head of 3DEXPERIENCE Center Hamburg, Dassault Systèmes) presented on ‘End-to-end Additive Manufacturing on a single Digital Thread‘ Sven touched on the usually multiple data format hand-overs and ways how to mitigate such interfaces. The main aim is to be able to go from concept design to machine data for an optimised design, regarding shape (topology & load cases) ready to build with support structures and post-machining offsets. Further, Sven mentioned the Round Table Sandia Labs Challenge 2019 worth a closer look for everyone interested in Topology Optimization.

Thomas Stitz (Head of Product Management, Ottobock SE & Co. KGaA)Why incremental improvements of Applications with AM is not enough or How to accelerate radical Innovation‘ Thomas explained AM technologies can be an enabler to innovate faster. He also touched on the topic that prosthesis are currently not regulated in Germany. So the use of AM technologies and any possible implications are with the prosthesis technician. Regulation is expected to take place within the next year.

After lunch, we split up in two working groups again . The first workshop was moderated by Hussein Tarhini from Fraunhofer IAPT. The workshop focused on ‘Quality Assurance of Metal Additive Manufacturing‘ … Laser Powder Bed Fusion (LPBF) for metals to be precise. Hussein provided a proper introduction to LPBF and state of the art technologies for process monitoring. From layer control systems to monitor the powder bed to detect issues with the recoating / layer generation and curling of parts to on- and off-axis monitoring approaches for melt-pool monitoring and Optical Tomography. The workshop had a decent level of detail, not only for people who usually don’t work with metal AM. Key takings where the need for better process stability in the first place but also more reliable process monitoring. A reduction false-positive readings to optimise Quality Assurance in industrial L-PBF production.

In a final joined session the results were discussed and Tim Wischeropp concluded the summit.

Summary The Global Additive Manufacturing Summit was a really good event. Very informative, with top speakers from the Additive Manufacturing industry. The challenges of Additive Manufacturing industry and solutions were the bearing points of the summit. Pretty much all presentations had a very practical angle, with a technical focus rather than any sales pitch. Overall, the atmosphere was very collaborative with open-minded people from industry and research. Plenty of opportunities to network and to bounce ideas made the event so absolutely worth to attend. Thanks to RedCabin, BigRep & voxeljet Disclaimer: This is a brief summary – not a complete report. Just some highlights…

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