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© nordroden, #203843214, 2019, source: stock.adobe.com

Saving material and energy with laser sintering (3D-printing)

Resources:
Energy, Materials
Sector:
Manufacturing of machinery and equipment, Metal and plastic processing
Cost:
High cost
Read more
Resource savings: Raw material:
36 kg of aluminium per product
Associated cost savings: Energy:
85%
Size of company:
Micro (less than 10)

A sintering success

  • Tool-maker investigates ways to cut its material waste and boost efficiency
  • A type of 3D-printing technique proves effective 

The German company Jomatik GmbH produces prototypes and production tools using laser sintering techniques. One of its customers uses a mechanical gripper for packing medicinal products.

Because of the relatively heavy weight involved (12-14 kg depending on the version of the gripper) the company investigated ways to reduce the size of components. Besides reducing the manpower needed for retooling the gripper, the aim was to reduce overall energy consumption that goes into the tooling.

Key results

By using laser sintering (3D-printing) to manufacture components, Jomatik could design a gripper weighing only 4 kg, thus requiring less raw material during manufacturing.

Only 6 kg of aluminium powder is required to produce the parts for a gripper, and half of the leftover material could be recycled or reused. The same parts produced conventionally would have needed 40 kg of aluminium. With the lightweight construction of the new gripper, the customer saves 85 % on energy in the packing process.

Source

Ressourceneffizienz durch Hinzufügung – additiver Leichtbau für die Industrie 4.0 [GER], https://pure-bw.de/sites/default/files/jomatik_gmbh.pdf

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