CECIMO organised the International Additive Manufacturing Conference in Hannover (Germany) on 21 September 2017 during EMO, the world’s premier trade fair for the metalworking sector. Characterized by the presence of top industry speakers, the event confirmed the interest of the manufacturing community in additive manufactory technologies.
Gathering around 130 participants, the conference featured high-level experts from world-leading producers of additive manufacturing machines, internationally-renowned CAD/CAM software providers, established R&D centres and on-going European initiatives. The discussions were moderated by Christian-Friedrich Lindemann, Managing Director at Direct Manufacturing Research Center (DRMC) of Paderborn University, an established research centre with the objective of integrating additive manufacturing processes into the series production process.
Challenges and solutions for the adoption of additive techniques in the industrial context were at the center of the debate.
Güngör Kara, Director of Global Application and Consulting at EOS, emphasized how it is important to train experienced engineers in companies for the implementation of additive manufacturing. He also highlighted the potential of Industry 4.0 in integrating additive technologies into complex supply chains within one global digital production network, where all restrictions on material properties, processes and part design disappear.
Marc Saunders, Director of Global Solutions Centres at Renishaw, drew attention to the rise of new applications, like those in consumer electronics, where additively manufactured components can greatly improve the management of heat generated by the product. He further underscored the relevance of measurement tools as a key enabler for the industrialization of additive manufacturing.
Daniel Lichtenstein, Head of Market Development Additive Manufacturing at TRUMPF, pointed out that the technology should be understood as complementary to traditional manufacturing, and embedded into the company’s existing production environment. He also emphasized how it is proving to be attractive not only to large industrial end-users, but also to SMEs.
Steve Youngs, Development Director at Vero Software, focused on the challenges for CAM software in hybrid manufacturing, where additive and subtractive operations are integrated in a single machine. As the process’ complexity increases, innovative CAM solutions should be able to guarantee ease of use and correctness by ensuring a common workflow and solid computer-based simulation.
Other highlights came from José Antonio Dieste, Head of the Mechatronic Department at AITIIP, who presented KRAKEN, an EU-funded project aiming at developing a new hybrid multi-material machine capable to produce parts up to 20 m long with high accuracy and quality, and Coen De Graaf, Project Leader of Vanguard, who illustrated his latter initiative.