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  • Writer's pictureSebastian Bluemer

Time to Reach the Next Level in AM

Updated: Feb 5, 2023

After a successful time of development and understanding, the challenge is now to scale up and industrialize in order to produce economically with the help of additive manufacturing. Therefore, the question is:

"How can mass production of an AM component be successfully implemented on your shop floor?"

The AM industry reached a time of consolidation. After all, a lot has been invested in the last few years to enable the disruptive technology. Lessons learned from the beginning of simply adapting an existing conventional design for 3D printing are now being made. But unfortunately it's not that simple as expected before. You need a functional design to generate a competitive advantage for this technology.

Previously manufactured assembly of individual components into a now additively manufactured part can be a fantastic use case of AM. In addition, functional designs that cannot be produced using other manufacturing processes are beneficial for additive manufacturing. Manufacturing conventionally designed parts using 3D printing is not economical and will not be successful in the long run.

If the functional design has now been developed by smart engineers, how should you prepare your shop floor for a successful mass production of AM designed components? How do you make the transition from an agile prototyping to high volume production?

In the next weeks, I will try to introduce some topics, which are essential for an additive series production.

Actually, you can find a final scenario in the sketch below. The machinery should be pushed from an Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) of today max. x>60% to values above 80%. First you need a digital architecture to monitor the productive time. Systems are a crucial factor for capacity planning and play a decisive role in the series production of additive components! That's why it will be the first topic of next week post.

How would you proceed to reach this goal? Do you already monitor your OEE? What are your lessons learned about enabling a mass production on your AM shop floor so far? Looking forward to your comments!

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