One 3D printing market, ripe with opportunities, that is often overlooked is the marker for accessories and components that either accelerate or optimize the end-to-end AM process. For example the market for both software and hardware process control systems. As far as the ladder is concerned, Spanish company NIT (New Infrared Technologies) just introduced the CLAMIR system for LMD and cladding process control.
This system is based on a high-speed infrared camera which is continuously monitoring and measuring the dynamic changes in the geometry of the melt pool, controlling the laser power in a closed-loop feedback. It enables operators to gain a much more precise control of the changing conditions during the process.
NIT manufactures unique high speed uncooled MWIR (1-5 micros) infrared image detectors, cameras and systems for different industrial applications. Our systems are suitable to monitor and control processes with temperatures above 100 degrees Celsius.
“We first identified market opportunity through an H2020 project where we participated,” NIT’s CEO, Mr. Arturo Baldasano Ramirez, told us. “We decided to develop CLAMIR because we identified that with our cameras we were able to develop a high-speed infrared image system with better performances than CMOS control systems and single element sensors systems, in order to control the process.”
The CLAMIR system was developed together with one of NIT’s technological partners with extensive expertise in the laser industry. The companies are already planning on developing together solutions for Powder Bed Fusion systems with higher performances than the ones available today, as well as new solutions for cladding and LMD, all based in NIT’s high-speed infrared cameras.”
The main advantages of such systems are seen in the precise control and conditions of the process, which in turn saves time and money by reducing failures. “We are very much focused on making industry 4.0 products more accessible,” Baldasano said. “Our technology allows us to manufacture high volumes at affordable prices for the industry. Among other products, we have also developed another system that allows to monitor and control in real time laser welding defects.
A paper, showing a comparison between CMOS systems vs NIT cameras was recently published by Fraunhofer Institute and AIMEN Research Center and is available here.