OECHSLER AG, a leading polymers technology group with headquarters in Ansbach/Middle Franconia, and a presence globally, is extending its partnership with the US additive manufacturing pioneer, Carbon, and their production capacity for one of the world’s largest polymer-based additive series production facilities in Taicang, China.
Since 2004, the OECHSLER Group has been operating a production site in Taicang, near Shanghai. The implementation of a global production infrastructure was key to the success of the polymer specialist – when developing 3D printing as a future-oriented manufacturing technology. The industrialization of additive manufacturing is OECHSLER’s second pillar. It was initiated in 2016 and implemented in Germany in a record-breaking 15 months – and was then mirrored in the Chinese production facility a few months later. Within eight months, a series production of 120 industrial Carbon printers was set up. The additive series production in Taicang covers a production area of 1800m², and represents one of the largest Carbon printing fleets in series production, globally.
Carbon and OECHSLER have worked with end customers to develop numerous 3D printed end-use products, and converted them into series production. These include prestige projects such as performance-enhancing shoe soles, impact-lessening elements for American football helmets, and bicycle saddles. Due to its high production capacities, OECHSLER’s site in Asia is of particular importance for this strategic partnership.
The extended partnership between Carbon and OECHSLER is accompanied by a double-digit million investment, from OECHSLER, in the Chinese AM site- resulting in the expanded production capacity of over two million parts per year.
“Carbon’s Production Network partners worldwide are an essential pillar of the Carbon ecosystem. With OECHSLER, we have a strong partnership that enables additive series production and real innovation. By extending our strategic partnership, we can not only further optimize our idea-to-production platform, but we can open up new markets together. We believe this is another milestone that will help companies bring better products to market in less time,” said Phil DeSimone, Co-Founder and member of the Office of the CEO at Carbon.
Carbon offers a broad technology portfolio consisting of industrial printers, various resin materials, and software, such as Design Engine – which facilitates the creation of Lattice structures. This, in combination with Carbon’s DLS printing technology, offers the possibility to manufacture a wide variety of products seamlessly, one after the other. As part of additive series production, OECHLSER has already been able to produce seven different applications in one day.
The ‘Idea-to-production’ platform is available through a subscription model. The subscription basis ensures that the Carbon 3D printing platform is constantly evolving with regular software updates, development and deployment of materials, and automated remote updates of printers that add new features and capabilities, improved user experience, faster and more accurate prints, and more sophisticated process management.
“I am convinced that in addition to financial predictability in terms of acquisition and maintenance cost, Carbon’s subscription model offers great benefits in the rapidly evolving Additive Manufacturing industry, including real-time support and integrated services packages at no extra costs, and, most importantly, continuous performance improvement through over-the-air updates,” added Dr. Claudius Kozlik, CEO of OECHSLER AG.
The variability in the product portfolio – made possible by additive manufacturing – must also be able to map pre- and post-processes. The expertise built up by OECHSLER in recent years, especially in the post-processing of 3D printed components, is another success criterion for series production – since the printing itself corresponds to approximately 50% of the production value chain.
The extension of the partnership between Carbon and OECHSLER intends to further advance product and process development on both sides – to optimize innovation and production, and increase resource efficiency. The companies plan to jointly open up new markets and support designers and engineers in developing products, in the long term. Carbon’s technology, coupled with OECHSLER’s development and process know-how, enables the pair to quickly and flexibly develop products for their customers and to mass-produce them with one of the world’s largest 3D printer fleets.