Monday, November 30, 2015

New Technology: How 3-D printers change production processes – THE WORLD

The term 3-D printer annoys Claus Emmelmann sometimes. “3-D printing is actually a laser-welding process in which successive layers hardfaced ‘are,” the boss of the Laser Center Nord in Bergedorf and says Professor at the Technical University Hamburg-Harburg (TUHH). “Order” means in this context: the application of a layer of metal on the other with the utmost precision. Emmelmann, 56, considers it important that such details are clear -. It is one of the leading scholars and practitioners in Germany who do research on the three-dimensional production of components and work

On Wednesday evening he is in Berlin are eagerly waiting to see if it out of the hand of German President Joachim Gauck one of Germany’s most important innovation awards received this year: together with Peter Sander from Airbus in Hamburg and Frank Herzog from the Franconian company Concept Laser Emmelmann is nominated in a total of three teams for the German Future Prize, Federal President.

Emmelmann and his colleagues have developed a method to produce supports for the rest rooms of crews in the new Airbus passenger aircraft A350 XWB – components made of metallic alloys, under including titanium, have to withstand the highest thermal and mechanical stresses.

differences between consumer products and industrial parts

Such a three-dimensional production of components, such Emmelmann it has developed for Airbus , penetrates into all industries. You could change factories and production processes as strong as it was at the beginning of the 20th century with the introduction of the assembly line in the automotive industry by the US entrepreneur Henry Ford.

So far, the 3-D-pressure here is commonly especially in everyday-level forms known: model figures of themselves, three-dimensional Selfies of plaster or plastic, which is droll 3-D printing to the public, in electronic stores or shop around the corner. Own Face, the own body measurements with cameras or body scanners recorded, digitally converted and formed from the spray nozzle to self-portraits in model scale, so the trend technology is presented.

But: “The 3-D-printing with plastics for consumer products such as small figures as self portraits is basically already in a downturn,” says Emmelmann. “Customer expectations of price and quality are as often not met. The industrial applications of this technology are, however only at the very beginning.”

The main difference between the production of consumer products and industrial parts with 3-D technology: Individual Statue in compact format, or the children’s toys are printed from materials such as plastic plastic or plaster. In the high-tech industry, however it comes to heavy-duty metal compounds. “The world market for 3-D printing of metallic functional components includes today about one billion euros,” says Emmel man, “in ten years, experts agree, it should already be 100 billion euros.”

aviation industry: importance of 3-D printing and Bionics

Hamburg Senate has recognized the possibilities of three-dimensional production and wants the Hanseatic city as an industrial location promote the introduction and application of technology. It says so in the coalition agreement of the SPD and Greens from the last spring. Applied research, the transfer of basic knowledge in new production processes and products, is one of Hamburg’s particular strengths. The cooperation between universities as the TUHH or the Hamburg University of Applied Sciences (HAW) with the economy is tight.

In particular, the high-tech sector of the aviation industry on location acts as a catalyst. The European group Airbus as the most important addition to the US company Boeing aircraft manufacturer in the world, Lufthansa Technik as a global leader in reconditioning and the conversion of civil aircraft, dozens of supplier companies of aircraft have a huge demand for lightweight yet extremely resistant components such as those for Emmelmann and his team have been nominated for the German Future Prize.

The new Centre for Applied Aviation Research (ZAL) in Finkenwerder, which is scheduled to start operation in early 2016, will continue to develop 3-D manufacturing process. “The 3-D printing technology allows, for example, components along the lines more efficient bionic – virtually copied from nature – to produce structures,” says Lukas Kirchner of the industry organization Hamburg Aviation. “That brings tremendous weight savings with them and is therefore extremely attractive for the aviation industry.

The Laser Zentrum Nord, Airbus and the TUHH have done with their development pioneered . ” Alone with bionic designed and 3-D printed parts can you reduce the weight of a passenger aircraft by 1.6 tons, compared with today’s conventional production methods. The show about the work of Claus Emmelmann and his colleagues.

shifting production processes from China back?

However, the three-dimensional manufacturing changed not only the products, but the production itself: One of the buzzwords that time called Industry 4.0, the ever closer integration of information technologies with the actual production. Machines that monitor the flow and pace of production processes and mutually control themselves, even more automation on the factory floor, the final end of the industrial handwork are perspectives that are discussed in this context.

“The technical possibilities of 3-D-pressure will change in the next 20 years, the production just as strong as the industrial use of steam engines in the 18th has century revolutionized the textile industry, “says Rolf Strittmatter, head of the Hamburg Business Development Corporation (HWF). “For the industrialized countries of the 3-D-printing offers special opportunities. Production processes that are currently taking place in low-wage countries, can then be moved back.” From the “workbench of the world”, as China is called its mass production for many foreign markets due, would then perhaps again the workbench spot.

Photo: Fabricius Prof. Dr. Ing Claus Emmelmann, boss. the Laser Centre North in Bergedorf and professor at the Technical University of Hamburg-Harburg (TUHH), with workpieces made of a 3-D printer

For this to happen, the engineer Claus Emmelmann working 15 years in the development just as much three-dimensional production. He became head of the Institute of Laser and System engineering at the Technical University of Hamburg-Harburg 2,001th From there he accompanied the foundation and development of the Laser Center Nord (LZN), which had been brought by the economy and the public sector in the metropolitan region of Hamburg on the way. The training of professionals, the development of laser technology, the transfer of basic knowledge to the industry are central tasks of the company.

Technology that pays off economically and ecologically

are applied high-power lasers, among other things in 3-D Pressure. Metallic alloys in powder form are melted by the laser and applied with a precision of micrometers. Are processed on LZN all common metal compounds, which are required for high production qualities: titanium and aluminum alloys, tool and stainless steels, stainless steels and cobalt-chromium alloys and polyamides, a variety of plastics.

“The LZN is one of the leading in this field of research, development and advisory services worldwide, in close cooperation with the Technical University Hamburg-Harburg” Emmel says man who still teaches and conducts research at the TUHH. “That we owe also intensive support from the City of Hamburg. And Hamburg can build on this foundation in implementing the strategy that developed in the city achieved in this field world-class and holds.”

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The necessary economic power gets the three-dimensional production, however, not in the protected experimental field between business and science, but in the cost estimates of the industry. The technology must be profitable purely commercial. If one believes professionals such Emmelmann, the distinguished now from: “Ecologically and economically, the 3-D process for the production of components is ideal: The material and energy waste is minimized because, for example, incurred no more chips as the drilling or milling” , he says. “And you can cost-effectively even the smallest series of parts.”

According to the experiences of the past years we have noticed in the industry that in 3-D printed parts not only the life higher and the weight is low than milled or molded parts: “The whole production process is equipped with 3-D printers in a direct comparison of first components become cheaper.”

If Germany again behind other nations back

This has been recognized, for example, also the US company General Electric. The global company manufactures in this way now injectors for aircraft turbines and is expanding its production capacity for greatly from. “This technology is highly reliable – otherwise they would not be used for sensitive and extremely heavily loaded components such as for aircraft turbines or at Airbus A350,” says Emmelmann

The hardware stands for at the very beginning, he believes:” The productivity of 3-D printers has increased tenfold in the past two years, and it will be on this basis even hundredfold “. Life in the industrialized societies comes as seen in a new way under pressure. The question is whether Germany can keep its good output level, or whether the domestic industry zurückfallt once again how. The boom in information technology, the computer, the Internet or the mobile communication decades ago

The Basics of digital music files as German researchers had once created, the money order but earned later Apple with the iPod: “We must be very careful in Germany, not to lose the connection to the US, “says Emmelmann. “There Hewlett-Packard, Google or Apple have long recognized the possibilities of 3-D-pressure.”


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