From GE Additive’s many announcements to Norsk TItanium’s updates, the Farnborough Airshow in the UK has been a hotbed for aerospace AM news this week. One of the latest stories to come out of the international event is a collaboration between metal powder producer LPW Technology and metal AM company Additive Industries. Through the partnership, the companies say they will work together to further integrate industrial additive manufacturing of metal parts for the aerospace industry and other high-end applications.
Looking at the partnership agreement in more detail, Additive Industries will be supplying LPW Technology’s powder management solutions as part of its MetalFAB1 systems and Additive World Platform. The aim is to offer Additive Industries clients a way to improve and increasingly automate the AM process with the automatic loading of powder into their MetalFAB1 systems in inert conditions as well as the monitoring of the metal powders and their properties throughout the AM process.
The closed loop system developed by LPW Technology and to be integrated by Additive Industries helps to reduce the risk of metal powder contamination or other variations caused by exposure to oxygen or humidity which have the potential to compromise the quality of parts in series production.
“Viewing Additive Manufacturing from the perspective of the metal powder is what has driven the development of our PowderLife metal powder atomization, powder transport, delivery and traceability system,” elaborates Dr. Phil Carroll, CEO of LPW Technology. “Our PowderEye sensors ensure that the powder environment is closely monitored during transport and throughout the metal AM process. We are delighted that Additive Industries has chosen to adopt this approach as part of their integrated industrial additive manufacturing system.”
LPW’s PowderLife is a metal powder lifecycle tracking system that enables metal AM users to control and monitor metal powders through the additive process and reduces the risk of powder contamination. Designed for industrial applications in the aerospace, automative, medical and defense industries, the unique system covers all facets of metal powder management, including powder supply, process management software, power-handling equipment and powder measurement and classification tools.
“We have been working with LPW for years and share the vision on full automation and integration,” says Daan Kersten, CEO of Additive Industries. “Integrating the LPW Powder Hopper solution and PowderSolve software in our MetalFAB1 systems and software allows our customers to accelerate the manufacturing of industrial quality parts and store all data in one place.”
“The integrated supply of powder combined with full traceability closes the loop to produce certified parts in regulated environments like aerospace and healthcare,” Kersten continues. “Moreover, the automated and closed powder loading system cuts manual labour significantly and reduces operator exposure to powder providing a safe and healthy work environment. The long-term relationship between LPW Technology and Additive Industries has resulted into this innovative powder handling system.”