Siemens has announced the official launch and availability of the Siemens Additive Manufacturing Network, which will provide an advanced cloud-based solution to facilitate collaboration and process orchestration along the workflow—from engineers, to procurement and suppliers. The launch follows a successful pilot period with partners at Siemens Gas & Power, Siemens Mobility, HP, Materialise and Decathlon.
The new Siemens Additive Manufacturing Network, which will be featured this week at Formnext, is said to offer an end-to-end digital process that will support globally distributed manufacturing by linking 3D printed part demand with a reliable supplier network. The network will primarily serve enterprises, suppliers and partners that are seeking to drive the industrial adoption of AM.
“Siemens’ additive manufacturing experts and industry veterans have developed the additive manufacturing network based on a clear understanding of the complexities and needs of the industry, fostered by a sincere passion to promote the adoption of AM in the industrial domain,” explained Zvi Feuer, Senior Vice President Manufacturing Engineering at Siemens Digital Industries Software. “As buyers, sellers and partners continue to plug into the ecosystem, they will find a streamlined, modular solution that can grow with each company’s individual needs.”
The AM network will essentially streamline the process of buying and manufacturing 3D printed components by digitalizing the order-to-delivery process. The new offering by Siemens fits into its suite of Software as a Service (SaaS) solutions and is thus compliant with security, availability and regulatory requirements.
AM Network partnerships
Among the network’s early users is Decathlon, the world’s largest sporting goods retailer, which has leveraged the network to manage its AM ordering process and to control production progress as it scales up its use of additive technologies. Another early adopter, Siemens Gas & Power, is using the AM network to enable a more agile business by responding to enquiries in real time.
“We have full confidence in the AM Network to help us facilitate a smooth flow of information among the various functions within the organization,” said Andreas Graichen, group manager, AM industrialization and digitalization, Siemens Power & Gas, Service Distributed Energy. “It will also allow us to effectively connect to our external customers, while providing a detailed outlook on costs and production time from beginning to end.”
On the other side, Siemens has enlisted HP as part of its AM network and will integrate its advanced 3D printing technology as well as HP’s Digital Manufacturing Network partners into the Siemens AM Network. The announcement marks a deepening of Siemens and HP’s existing collaboration.
“Siemens and HP share a collective goal to help accelerate the journey to digital manufacturing for customers,” said Rob Mesaros, Global Head of Services and Alliances, HP 3D Printing and Digital Manufacturing. “Adding HP Multi Jet Fusion Solutions and HP Digital Manufacturing Network plastic production partners to the Siemens AM Network is a strong enabler for customers looking to use 3D printing for industrial production.”
At Formnext, Siemens is showcasing its complete AM solution, highlighting elements such as digital inventory, part analysis, RFQ process, supplier network, cost analysis, production tracking and scheduling and much more.
Siemens and Oerlikon partnership
In addition to launching its AM Network, Siemens has announced a strategic alliance with technology group Oerlikon. Through the partnership, Siemens will provide Oerlikon AM with digital enterprise solutions to support the the industrialization of 3D printing.
By integrating Siemens’ Digital Enterprise Portfolio into its AM production and R&D operations, Oerlikon will be better equipped to manage end-to-end AM workflows as well as AM engineering. Ultimately, the agreement between the two companies is a significant step to realizing Oerlikon’s dream of a digital factory that is adaptive and streamlined.
“At the moment we have a variety of special tools that we use for different steps of the value chain,” said Dr. Sven Hicken, Head of Oerlikon’s Additive Manufacturing Business Unit. “Developing a more integrated system that gives us increased visibility and puts all of our manufacturing sites on the same page will allow us more flexibility and speed in responding to customer requests. We expect this to lead to more rapid progress in integrating additively manufactured parts into series production.”
The first stage of the partnership, which is expected to last about two years, will focus on tools used in the engineering stage of the AM process.
“Oerlikon has extensive expertise in the additive manufacturing process. We know we can learn from them and are excited by the opportunity to use our technology to enhance their productivity,” said Dr. Karsten Heuser, Vice President, Additive Manufacturing, Siemens Digital Industries. “Working together, we believe we can make a major impact on industry’s adoption of AM.”
AM training services
In its third announcement of the day, Siemens’ Gas and Power division and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) are teaming up to develop training services for additive manufacturing. The services will be offered through Materials Solutions, a Siemens business and aim to support Siemens’ many customers in their AM adoption journey.
The collaboration will leverage Siemens Gas and Power’s expertise in technical application content and ASME’s competency model framework, agile course development methodology and learning and development platform. According to the partners, the AM training services will cover all steps of the additive chain and will provide “real-world applications experience” covering business case development, design for AM, material selection and consideration, and printing and post-printing processes.
“The agreement between Siemens and ASME is another milestone to support further adoption of additive manufacturing as an industrialized technology,” said Markus Seibold, Vice President of Additive Manufacturing at Siemens Power Generation Operations. “Cross-industry collaborations to advance AM adoption will promote innovation in design, material development, and real, functional applications across the industry. Thanks to the collaboration with ASME, we can provide the experience of our experts to our customers and industries all over the world.”