GF Machining Solutions has long been a major actor in plastic injection by providing market players with high-performance machine tools. Customers trust their solutions to manufacture the most complex molds and inserts. But now GF goes further by incorporating Additive Manufacturing (AM) technology to its portfolio.
The AM S 290 Tooling, based on the established and proven EOS technology, is a system dedicated to the mold and die industry. A System 3R MacroMagnum chuck is fully integrated into the building system. This significantly improves the ability for upstream and downstream integration of the AM process in the whole production process. It is important to understand that AM cannot function without conventional technologies and many post-processes.
As an AM technology, Direct Metal Laser Sintering uses an ytterbium fiber Laser fired into a bed of powdered metal, aiming the Laser automatically at points in space defined by a 3D model, melting—or, rather, welding—the material together to create a solid structure.
Heating/cooling channels inside an insert are of capital importance in the plastic injection. Unfortunately, the limitations of traditional machining methods fail to produce channels that can achieve maximum performance. Thanks to 3D printing, users can build inserts with conformal channels, meaning that they are placed closer to the final molded part and that they respect the part’s geometry. This breakthrough then aligns the exchange of temperature inside the mold and therefore optimizes production in terms of time, cost and quality.
These inserts can be used for any kind of plastic products in all segments. Due to a better temperature homogenity during the injection process, customers can reduce their cycle time, increase their productivity and improve the overall quality of, for example, a critical plastic part with thin walls.
But AM could support the business even more. It can give to the companies much more flexibily in parts and molds design, it can improve significantly the time-to market and reduce the high costs related to prototyping and molds replacement.
Advantages of AM are now well understood and its industrialization is a major step toward the future. GF Machining Solutions is actively collaborating with EOS to speed up development of this solution which will be a major step in fulfilling Industry 4.0 requirements.
Both in mold and die and other applications in various segments, GF Machining Solutions is at the forefront of efficiently blending traditional and new manufacturing technologies, by optimizing parts and process flow but also by improving data flow and systems connectivity.
AM is a hot industrial topic as applications are numerous and promising—and initiatives are multiplying all over the world. GF Machining Solutions has embraced AM as a leading technology providing new opportunities for its customers, and understands how it complements traditional technologies, particularly in mold and die manufacturing. Today, GF Machining Solutions meets customers’ needs with both an AM solution and support in integrating the technology into their machining processes. GF’s great strength is its unique multi-technology portfolio and the expertise in industrialized processes, especially in mold and die.
SourceGF Machining Solutions