DMG MORI is advancing this future-oriented technology with the consistent further development of additive manufacturing in both powder nozzle and powder bed techniques.
Additive manufacturing has long proven its enormous potential in recent times. Annual growth rates in today’s still small market are over 30 percent, even considerably higher in part where metallic components are concerned. According to the latest forecasts additive manufacturing is expected to grow by 20 to 50 percent by the year 2020. In other words the market will grow by a factor of 2 to 4. It is therefore only logical that as a leader of technology DMG MORI will consistently advance in this development. DMG MORI has already been operating successfully on the market for ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING since 2013 with laser deposition welding using powder nozzle technology. With its end-to-end competence DMG MORI presents the most important generative machining processes under one roof and ranks as a full service provider and full-liner in both the additive production of metallic components and metal cutting finishing and also boasts a worldwide service.
Future-orientated and highly competitive branches are always on the lookout for innovative and cost-effective production opportunities. They are therefore often seen as the drivers of new technologies. So it is not surprising that additive manufacturing is gradually being adopted in all branches. The USA, Europe, Korea and Japan in particular have become established here as core markets. Aircraft manufactures see great potential in the chance to reduce the weight of components. Additive manufacturing is already wide spread in medical technology production and dental laboratories, because it offers economical solutions for many different applications, even for batch size 1.
Unique process chains for additive complete machining
The LASERTEC 3D and LASERTEC SLM series constitute the cornerstone of DMG MORI’s strategic orientation in this future-oriented technology. While the LASERTEC 3D hybrid successfully combines laser deposition welding with a powder nozzle and 5-axis milling, the LASERTEC SLM series stands for selective laser melting in a powder bed. “Both manufacturing technologies complement each other ideally in our product range”, explains Patrick Diederich, responsible for the Advanced Technologies division. The powder bed process in particular is of great importance: “The technology has a share of 80 percent in the market for the additive manufacturing of metallic components. Both processes will be presented at the EMO in their latest innovation stages as part of integral process chains.
LASERTEC 3D hybrid : Perfect additive and metal-cutting combination
DMG MORI already revolutionised the additive manufacturing of metal components four years ago by combining laser deposition welding and machining on a single machine. This concept is used in both the 5-axis LASERTEC 65 3D hybrid and the LASERTEC 4300 3D hybrid. It combines laser deposition welding and 6-sided turn-mill machining. Both machines are designed for the manufacture of comparatively large components such as complex turbine components. Work areas of ø 500 x 400 mm in the case of the LASERTEC 65 3D hybrid and ø 660 x 1,300 mm for the LASERTEC 4300 3D hybrid speak for themselves as do workpiece weights of up to 600 kg or 900 kg.
What is revolutionary about the machine concept of the LASERTEC 3D hybrid series is the diversity of the possible applications. Laser deposition welding and milling or turn-mill operations in a single setup mean first of all that workpieces can be produced in finished part quality. Whereby the powder nozzle and milling head can also be changed over at any time. “Especially where complex geometries are concerned, areas can be machined that would no longer be accessible on the finished part”, points out Patrick Diederich. Such applications are called for in particular in the aerospace, energy technology and die and mold branches. “Added to this is the option of producing innovative components from two or more materials and even graded materials by using different powder nozzles”.
LASERTEC 3D: Productive processing of different materials
DMG MORI will be presenting the new LASERTEC 65 3D designed solely for additive manufacturing using a powder nozzle for the first time at the EMO 2017. Based on the LASERTEC 65 3D hybrid the machine has a 40 percent larger work area compared to the hybrid model despite its 45 percent smaller footprint. Other features such as different track widths, higher laser power up to 4 kW as well as the option of also processing reactive materials (e.g. aluminium or titanium) in sandwich structures expand the innovative aspects of the machine. “Where the LASERTEC 65 3D is concerned we have successfully managed to implement the further demands of the market at a significantly reduced basic price” says Patrick Diederich.
LASERTEC SLM : Offensive from the powder bed
With the powder bed technique very small, highly complex filigree parts can be manufactured by means of selective laser melting Like the LASERTEC 3D machines, the LASERTEC 30 SLM enables the flexible use of different materials, while an intelligent powder module concept allows the change of material in under two hours.
DMG MORI relies on its own machining centres for the finishing of workpieces from the powder bed. “The key issue here is an expedient linking of the different technologies. With the LASERTEC 30 SLM we have brought powder bed technology out of the laboratory environment and into the sphere of industrial production. This machine is an ‘enabler’ of technology”, says Florian Feucht, Head of Sales and Application at REALIZER GmbH. This applies to both the hardware and the software. “Integral processes are the overarching goal.”
CELOS in additive manufacturing
Against the backdrop of integral processes Industry 4.0 is of course an ever-present topic. DMG MORI is actively advancing the topic with its “Path of Digitization” and its intelligent software solutions. These also include the intuitive user interface CELOS. This is already used for the LASERTEC 3D hybrid machines and the industrial solution RDesigner, created by REALIZER especially for the powder bed, and will also be integrated into a CELOS interface in future. “The capture and management of data and the utilisation of user-friendly apps offer a great opportunity for supporting work preparation and the production processes in their entirety”, claims Patrick Diederich. This means digitisation has a great impact on optimum utilisation of capacities and on the flexibility of a production. It enables a transition to individual mass production in industrial serial production. Spare parts, for example, no longer need to be held in stock. They can be printed virtually “on demand”. “Digitisation and additive manufacturing go hand in hand and will tap great potential”, says Patrick Diederich optimistically.
With industrial maturity and global presence to a leader of technology
DMG MORI also looks optimistically into the future with additive manufacturing. On the one hand the machine tool manufacturer underpins its expertise in this field in DMG MORI Additive Manufacturing Excellence Centers spread around the world in Bielefeld, Pfronten, Tokyo, Shanghai and Chicago. The responsible experts there are involved in customer projects very early on in the development phase, so they can gain knowledge that they then incorporate in the construction of the machines and components. On the other hand DMG MORI confirms its great ambitions for the focus topic with further technology developments. In addition to the first showcasing of the LASERTEC 65 3D at this year’s EMO, the larger LASERTEC 125 3D hybrid is also planned for 2018. Patrick Diederich sees a trend in powder bed processes towards higher productivity: “We will achieve this by means of both a larger build volume and intelligent powder management as well as with further linking and automation of the processes, which will result in a reduction of idle times.”
DMG MORI views additive manufacturing as an expedient complement to traditional production methods. “With the LASERTEC 30 SLM in Bielefeld and the LASERTEC 65 3D hybrid in Pfronten the DMG MORI Academy also has several machines at its disposal with which it offers customers highly qualified training in the topic of ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING”, says Patrick Diederich. Another aspect is the design of components: “Design engineers, too, will increasingly recognise the potential of additive manufacturing and will integrate the technology in their work. After all they will be able to realise workpieces in this way that they would not be able to produce with conventional manufacturing processes.” DMG MORI will soon also be offering training courses in this field at its DMG MORI Academy.