EOS is exhibiting its state-of-the-art equipment at this year’s Hannover Messe, being held from April 24-28, 2017. At the world’s most important industrial trade show, the company is presenting its Additive Manufacturing (AM) solutions for industrial 3D printing in the “Digital Factory” section of hall 6. The company will be displaying an overview of its technology and consulting service, showcasing the development potential along the whole production and process chain. A live building system – the EOS P 396 – will demonstrate polymer-based Additive Manufacturing.
Dr. Adrian Keppler, Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) at EOS, emphasizes: “EOS’ technology is already changing the way companies design and manufacture products. Over the next few years, this disruptive technology will continue to make significant advances through consistent industrialization and integration in production and supply chains.” He continues: “In the context of Industry 4.0, industrial 3D printing is set to play a key role in developing the digitalized, intelligent factory of the future. At the same time, the technology gives companies greater flexibility and agility in adapting to ever changing market conditions.”
With its “Additive Minds” division, EOS assists customers in the transformation process necessary to successfully introduce Additive Manufacturing, as companies are under increasing pressure worldwide to introduce new, disruptive technologies more efficiently. In many cases, it still takes too long to develop sufficient AM expertise in-house. However, via its consulting and training team, EOS can instruct these experts more quickly, minimizing potential investment risks by imparting the required knowledge within a shorter timeframe. A key success factor when launching this technology is, of course, the people involved, and therefore both the acquisition of relevant knowledge, and the ability of managers and engineers to adapt. In close collaboration with its customers, EOS has acquired the factors critical for success in more than 150 projects over the last few years.
In the factories of the future, however, apart from well-trained AM experts, the most important factor is the seamless integration of various technologies.
Among other parameters, the software-related optimization of various process steps forms the basis for series manufacturing. In cooperation with Siemens PLM Software, EOS is developing CAD/CAM interfaces for the design and manufacturing aspects of industrial 3D printing, with the aim of providing a seamless integration in the Siemens NX™ software. The AM process, from part design to industrial 3D printing on EOS systems, therefore becomes closely interlinked in one software environment, enabling Additive Manufacturing to be deployed with greater speed and reliability.
Simultaneously, together with SAP, EOS is promoting the integration of industrial 3D printing in both MES and ERP systems, enabling building process data to be fed back into the SAP MES systems after Additive Manufacturing. Step by step, with complete transparency and control, this makes it possible to directly embed additive systems in existing manufacturing environments.
Moving forwards, two factory approaches are emerging for AM-supported series manufacturing: Additively dominated manufacturing centers and hybrid manufacturing environments.
Pure additive manufacturing and innovation centers for series production already exist today, such as at AUDI. Within the scope of a development partnership, EOS is assisting the automotive manufacturer to establish a 3D printing center in Ingolstadt, equipped with EOS systems and processes. At the same time, EOS is supporting the development of AUDI applications and in-house knowledge-building. AUDI engineers are being further trained to become experts in Additive Manufacturing, enabling the carmaker to partially revolutionize the process of toolmaking, as complex part geometries and assemblies are easier to implement using this technology.
In the future, hybrid manufacturing centers will integrate both additive and conventional technologies in existing manufacturing environments. In close collaboration between EOS and GF Machining Solutions (GFMS) – and by combining the technologies of the two companies – customers will be able to access innovative solutions in the fields of tool and mold-making. EOS will provide leading industrial 3D printers, while GF will contribute state-of-the-art high-speed milling, EDM machinery, and automation technologies, creating a smart, interconnected production chain.