Additive Layer Manufacturing (ALM) is a designation for a range of technologies that produce parts layer by layer where typically a laser adds material on top of the part by either solidifying a liquid, or melting a powder. Another way is by a print head that melts the raw material and deposits it on top of the parts.
These processes can be done with a wide range of materials: plastics, metals, ceramics, wax and sand for casting, even carbon fibre.
Some machines also offer the possibility to use several materials at once. This way they can produce for instance a hard plastic part with a rubber seal all in one run or a part with different colours.
These technologies have the following benefits to other production methods such as injection moulding or casting:
- No tooling required, saving on up-front investment.
- Prototype parts are one for one the same as production parts.
- There is more design freedom because parts can be made in almost any shape, such as complex internal features & organic forms. There are no draft directions to adhere to or sliders to consider.
- Part to part customisation – no tooling changes
- Thin wall and variable thickness components
The following chapters describe the currently most established technologies. Since this is still an up and coming industry, a lot of new ideas are being developed and matured and new products show up in the market on a regular basis.
The following information is based on Additive Manufacturing technology with regards to the competition raised from Innovative UK.
We got introduced to Innovative UK, what they do and how they operate.
From there we received an overview of today’s purpose and time schedule. All presentations which were displayed are going to be available online, especially the pitch slides with contact details from the different competitors.
They have launched a new online system which will allow applicants to enter their submission online, we are going to be using the Beta Version and will need to feedback regarding any difficulties or recommendations.
Innovative UK is a company who seeks in growing pioneering UK businesses as well as innovation as such. One of their key roles is it to emerge and enable technologies. At the same time they focus intensively on the networking side of it and are trying to build and strengthen networks within the industry.
The “Delivery Plan” from Innovative UK is online and can be downloaded for further information.
The Aims of this competition:
- Broaden & innovate AM
- Explore new sources
- Competitive advantage
- Process chain development – project money needs to be partially invested in this sector
- Connected digital manufacturing
- Innovation needs to be in UK, as 42% cgr AM growing!
The project must include the following (a detailed description is on the website):
- Additive manufacturing (70% of total project cost)
- Novel AM build process with route to market
- Large scale build platforms with a route to market
- Automation, predictability & cost reduction, pre- & post-process, material & finishing activities à AM chain production process
- Innovative hybrid or interrupted AM processes and/or their integration with the adjacent process
- Connected digital manufacturing (15-30% of total project cost)
- Interoperability: enabled internet machines/devices/sensors/people, share data security
- Enriched modelling
- Real time insights
Various questions around the scopes have been asked with specific aspects to each’s competitor’s interest. The answers have been interesting but nothing applicable for our interested or information seeking.
- Industry 4.0
Innovative UK calls the German founded brand name “Industry 4.0” slightly different “connected digital manufacturing” and emphasises it`s importance in today`s world and with special regards to this competition.
It calls for an agenda of change for competitive advantages. Industry 4.0 is focused on anchor expertise and production capacity. Special emphasise is the focus on data and its value especially in this gradually expanding connected world.
- Specified topics around the competition
The competition is also focused on creating new standards with regards to:
- Production process
- Product function
- Data and exchange
- System interoperability
The competitor needs to invest at least 10% of their total cost into this aspects.
Not applicable to scope
The following aspects are not applicable for the scope of this competition:
- Development of products made on standard, commercially-available AM machines
- Atomic layer deposition
- Rapid prototyping – suitable for prototyping
The scope of this competition is with focus on direct manufacturing and not prototyping, no material development.
- IFS – Private Beta Test
Innovative UK has founded a new platform for applicants to compete in future innovative productions. The lead applicant does the online application and will invite the other partners to join the competition. Each section is to be completed differently and the marked as completed. Once all sections are completed to the conditions of the competition the lead partner has the possibility to admit the forms.
A help desk is providing all services constantly as difficulties could appear and problems could occur. One aspect the focus was laid on is, that the project calculations are done by the application service.
- Application Process
The registration must be entered on 20/07/2016 and the deadline is 27/07/2016. The partners are at least required, two businesses, which function as partners while one is the lead partner.
The summary is required but not marked. The public description is equally out of mark scheme and sensitive data must be excluded, as this document will be used for public marketing reasons and publishes.
Each of the questions can be assigned to a different partner, the lead partner will be able to assign tasks to the other partners.
The project must be focused around:
PDF documents can be attached by several questions in order to back up the limited number of 400 words.
One of the main questions is focused around the investment and why the project idea presented is in need of public funding.
- Connectivity / Industry 4.0 – Steven Barr
Steven Barr is a career consultant at Hennik Edge the publisher of “The Manufacturer”. He presented the business focus in the industry 4.0 vision.
One of his emphasises laid on the word “connectivity” as industry 4.0 is based on this strategy and today`s industry and innovation should be as well.
He emphasises the fact, that the business case is always owned by the business, no matter how many consultants are involved or what kind of advice the business receives.
He also emphasises the usage of visual mapping in order to gain an overview of
which is required for a successful business strategy.
The engagement with experts is his recommendation not only for today`s event, but also for the scope of this project in order to take future innovations a few steps forward.
- Seamless connection / Industry 4.0 – Steve Cox
Steve Cox is the director of Amfori and 3D technology education. He talked around industry 4.0 and the solutions to current problems. “Seamless connection” was his key word to the overall solution of current challenges the industry has to face.
- File formats
- File exports
could be solved by software improvements and a format called “ .3mf” as well as cloud computing.
The presentations as well as the contact details of each pitch/person will be available online. Below is a brief summary of the important facts of each pitch:
Archipalgo – Guy New.
Scalable Technology platform that ejects paints, adhesives and pastes with high precision & low waste
Brunel University London – Eujin Pei
- Solution based AM system
- Automation of processes
- Robotics integration in series production processes
Strategic Simulation – Matt Clarke
- CAE specialist
- Thermo analysis of AM
- Multi-scale analysis of materials
Fripp Design and Research – Steve Roberts
Fripp is researching with regards to 3D printing silicon and rubber materials. The focus on the medical side of the industry.
- Material development
- Large scale format
- Plastics is the main focus
Coventry University – Barry Johnson
- Aerospace and automotive
- Metal manufacturing
- Searches AM product manufacturer
Digital Catapult – Adam Webb
- Connected digital manufacturing partner
- Data securing
GKN Aerospace – Tim Hope
- Maturing design philosophies – manufacturing process stage
- Focus on secondary & tertiary manufacturing systems
- Full AM value stream
Mouse Trap innovation Ltd. – Iain Duncan
Iain is focused on the robotically side of the AM future vision. His aim is it to automate the series production.
National physical laboratory – Peter Woolliams
- National measurement institute
- Verified process
- Assistance into standards activity
- Innovative measurements
Added SCIENTIFIC – Phill Dickens
- Process selection
- Embedded electronics – sensing & real time feedback
- Novel components
HiETA technologies – George Higking
- Heat management
- Light weight focus
- High volume mass production
- Analytical tools to improve scrap rates
Datalytyx – Peter Chase
- Systems integrator
- New wave of open-source data manufacturing
- Handle streaming data at volume
- Elastic processing
The Imagination Factory – Matt Candy
- Product design engineering
- Research & understanding
- Multi-disciplinary approach
Imperial College London – Robert Stuart Smith
- Robots to build complex buildings and houses
- Control systems
- Software development
- Mobile robotics for construction
- Large scale