At FormNext 2019, AddUp Group presents an example of an automated metal additive manufacturing workshop. This concept is directly inspired by Michelin's know-how, which has been operating an equivalent workshop since 2014 for the manufacture of tyre molds.

Based on this experience, AddUp Group offers a workshop design service for industrialists who wish to achieve a high level of productivity and safety in their production in large series. With a vision that stands out from its competitors, and that consists in not aiming for automation at any cost. AddUp has calculation models to apply automation where it is needed: they help determine which flows of powder, parts and platforms need to be automated. “There is no typical workshop”, warns Jean-Pierre Nicaise, the Group's Technology Director. For AddUp, these automation choices are a prerequisite for the creation of any workshop, and must be made after the industrialist has a clear view of his project: type of parts, total quantity to be manufactured, number of parts per platform, production time, type of material, powder size, etc. Without this precise definition of the project, the return on investment of the additive manufacturing shop automation will be difficult to guarantee.
Once these choices have been made, AddUp offers various technologies that can be implemented to increase production speeds: a principle of production chambers transported by an inerted transfer cart, which eliminates the inerting and deinerting times of machines at the beginning and end of production, as well as a centralized powder distribution. In terms of safety, the workshop concept presents two distinct areas, with a confined production area and an open access area. The manufacturing, stripping and cleaning operations of the platform-part assemblies are all grouped together in the confined area. There is no need for human intervention, apart from maintenance operations. Air is filtered and renewed several times per hour, and a vacuum principle prevents any leakage of powder particles. The open access zone allows operators to work without PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) and to intervene in the machinery enclosure via glove boxes.
www.addupsolutions.com

 

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