AM for Production: Step in to Additive Manufacturing workflow
What added value do high-tech suppliers generate with AM for their customers?
Unique design of exhibition floor prominently highlights every step in AM process
With a unique layout of the exhibition floor, AM for Production will prominently display every step in the implementation of additive manufacturing at the end of March. This not only offers visitors a special experience; exhibitors will find exactly the place for their solution in the AM process, says programme manager Bart Kooijmans.
The countdown to the first edition of AM for Production, at the end of March, is running. Just over two months to go and AM technology providers, research institutes, industry organisations and users will show in the Brabanthallen in Den Bosch the opportunities that arise when you apply the new production technology. At the same time, they will show how to incorporate additive manufacturing into current production processes. “Visitors literally and figuratively walk through the entire AM workflow when they enter the exhibition floor. Starting with software via pre-process and materials past industrial 3D printers to post processing,” Bart Kooijmans, programme manager at Mikrocentrum, outlines the unique set-up of AM for Production. There are also demo areas with concrete applications and two lecture halls.
Why ASML deploys Additive Manufacturing
Additive manufacturing – or 3D printing – is beyond the hype. In countries such as Germany, Italy and the US, the manufacturing industry is currently investing heavily in the new technology. In the Netherlands, the turnaround is beginning. Interest in the AM Masterclass during the Precision Fair was very high. During this session, VDL ETG, KMWE Precision and NTS, among others, shared their experiences with metal AM and especially the business cases they discovered. “They showed that the technology works, produces good high-tech components and what added value they generate for their customers with it,” says Bart Kooijmans. The large turnout at Mikrocentrum and DSPE’s last Additive Manufacturing Techcafé in December confirmed the interest from the high-tech industry. Hessel Maalderink, AM competence co-lead at ASML, said then that ASML machines now already contain 200 parts produced with AM. “These parts have all the advantages of the new manufacturing technology,” he said. Weight saving, feature integration, complexity and a simpler supply chain: all benefits of additive manufacturing. “They are parts that often cannot be made any other way,” Maalderink said during the Techcafé
As OEMs like ASML but also large companies from the oil and gas industry start deploying AM, it becomes important to show the industry the possibilities of AM and the process steps, believes Bart Kooijmans. “AM for Production will be the connecting element for the AM ecosystem in the Benelux. This is where it becomes clear how to use AM to push the boundaries of what is possible in high-tech industry. And what it takes to deploy AM in your production process.” Pushing possibilities with AM as production technology is not the slogan for nothing. Not only ASML uses AM as a production technology. This change is also visible in other sectors, notes Maick Klaassen of QDP. The Dutch company sees the group of customers who have end parts 3D printed growing steadily. “Since three years, we have been running a successful AM service that produces high-quality parts for end users. Huge strides in development now make the promise of this technology available for use in our production chains.”
Making the right choices
The format of the event, where visitors walk past all the steps in the process, makes AM for Production at the end of March interesting for all parties that play a role in the process. They can show visitors exactly where in the AM process their solution, technology or material adds value. “Implementing new production technologies like AM requires a good understanding of state-of-the-art capabilities versus specific requirements. Making the right choice of technology and strategy is crucial for success,” says Ruben Wauthle, founder and CEO of Amnovis, one of the exhibitors at AM for Production.
In addition to state-of-the art AM production solutions and implementation steps, AM for Production also showcases the business cases of companies successfully deploying the technology. These pioneers share their knowledge, both at the demo areas and during the lectures. “Here, we keep the focus on AM as a production technology for finished products. That is what this event is about. AM for Production gives a total overview of the technology with which producing Netherlands will be pushing the boundaries in the coming years,” Bart Kooijmans concludes.
If you are interested in the opportunities to help visualise a process step at AM for Production, download more information for exhibitors.
This article was written by Franc Coenen. Interested in the full article or looking for more 3D printing news? Then take a look at 3D Print Magazine.