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Siemens has opened Sweden's first 3D workshop for mass production of metal components through a technique known as additive manufacturing. This investment marks the beginning of industrial production of 3D-printed metal components at Siemens.

Siemens has inaugurated a new workshop for additive manufacturing at its industrial plant in Finspång. It is the first facility in Sweden and within Siemens for global development, manufacture and repair of components in metal for the power industry through additive manufacturing technology, commonly known as 3D printing.

The machines in the new workshop will be used for rapid prototyping to quickly create product prototypes, rapid manufacturing, and repairs of the main components of Siemens industrial gas turbines. Some 20 employees work in the workshop, from operators to engineers.

"Siemens is at the forefront in Sweden and the world of additive manufacturing in the development and production of advanced components in the metal to the power industry. This is a step in a long-term investment in this area, where we have not yet seen all the possibilities. Through this investment, we are building up the skills and experience that can lead to new ideas and developments in the field. "Says Hans Holmström, CEO of Siemens Industrial Turbomachinery.

Additive manufacturing allows up to 90 percent reduced lead times compared with conventional methods, eg, casting, drilling, etc. The precision in manufacture can result in up to 10 times faster manufacturing and repair time, and shortening development cycles from a year to months or weeks. In addition to speed, the advantage of additive manufacturing compared with conventional methods of its ability to produce virtually all conceivable shapes and internal complexity without having to use components. This enables designers to think far beyond the limitations of design in the conventional manufacturing means. Previously complex components consisting of several different parts can now be manufactured as a single integrated component, and achieve both high durability and improved efficiency in new constructions.

"With this investment, we can develop new and improved components and repairs, for example burner tips to serve our industrial gas turbine SGT-800, significantly faster. Using this innovative approach, we will shorten repair times from months to weeks. It is an important step in our ability to respond to the needs of our customers. "Says Thorbjorn Fors, global business director for Distributed Generation at Siemens.

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