A lot of future product development will use additive with substractive manufacturing. Additive manufacturing can pose a challenge when it comes to finished machining.Click image to enlargeby Andrew Brooks

A low-risk, low-cost way to explore the possibilities of additive manufacturing

Renishaw has been involved in additive manufacturing for nearly ten years. The company recently made a major new commitment with the opening of the Renishaw Canada Solutions Centre in Kitchener, ON.

The company moved into the new facility in January 2016. The official opening took place November 1. At the event, the company offered demonstrations of additive manufacturing applications in the automotive and aerospace sectors. It also showcased its new RenAM 500M laser powder bed fusion system.

But the Solutions Centre is about a lot more than showcasing Renishaw’s additive technology offerings. One of its main purposes is to provide a low-risk, low-barrier way for companies interested in taking advantage of additive manufacturing to become familiar with how it works and what it can do. “The centre is a significant investment by Renishaw,” says Mark Kirby, additive manufacturing business manager for Renishaw Canada. “We recognize that there are barriers to the adoption of additive manufacturing, and we want to help encourage that adoption.”

The main barriers are the expense and the complexity of additive manufacturing. AM still isn’t well understood, even–or perhaps especially–by people with years of manufacturing experience. Renishaw hopes the Solutions Centre will help manufacturers understand how additive manufacturing can work in a manufacturing operation.

“We have a lot of our industrial measuring equipment here, to support new product development that is going to be using additive together with subtractive manufacturing, because the accuracy of parts typically requires finished machining for critical surfaces,” says Kirby.

The aim of Renishaw's facility is to help manufacturers understand how additive manufacturing can work in a manufacturing environment.Click image to enlargeIn fact, additive manufacturing can pose a real challenge when it comes to finished machining. Because additive requires only the absolute minimum amount of metal, parts are less bulky and less rigid. They tend to vibrate and move around a lot more under the secondary processing.

“You’re often machining a high value component that may be organic in shape, and is probably a lot less stiff in certain directions than a solid block of metal,” says Kirby. “That’s something that we are trying to help customers with, along with good solutions they can reuse, so they don’t have to start from scratch.”

One of Renishaw's metal additive machines at the Solutions Centre.Click image to enlargeKirby points out that one of the crucial challenges of additive manufacturing is simply developing the understanding of additive manufacturing, so that design engineers in particular know what the possibilities and constraints are.

“We’ve put all of this technology in one place so that education can take place in a real working environment where the potential benefits can be explained and the process can be ‘de-risked,’” says Kirby. The idea is to give prospective users a way to explore additive manufacturing without spending a million dollars to try it out.

“Having an environment where you can basically stage-gate a new process would be regarded as best practices with any new product introduction. With additive manufacturing, the key is to be able to do it off-site, because with a new industry like this, almost no one has the necessary facilities and skills.

“The industry is so new” adds Kirby. “There are very few people who have any additive metal experience, let alone years of it. We’re lucky to have all that under one roof here.”

The solutions centre is the only one of its kind in North America so far. “That’s a unique Canadian experience,” says Kirby with a laugh, “to be ahead of the US.”

 

Why W?

by Kip Hanson

Are boring mills becoming obsolete?

Faster holemaking

The GEN3SYS XT drilling line from Allied Machine & Engineering offers increased tool life and productivity in high penetration rate drilling applications, according to the company.

CNC: the next generation

Article & photos by Jim Barnes

Introducing tomorrow’s workers to high end machining

Mitsubishi EDM, Matsuura partner on 3D manufacturing

MC Machinery Systems Inc., Wood Dale, IL, owned by Mitsubishi Corp., is partnering with machine tool builder Matsuura Machinery Corp., Fukui City, Japan, to introduce a 3D hybrid milling machine to the North American market (Canada and the US).

Industry association supports skills training for youth

The Canadian Tooling and Machining Association (CTMA) is launching two skills training programs for youth to help fill the skilled trades gap in Canada: the Introductory Trades Training program and the Ontario Manufacturing Learning Consortium, a partnership initiative between CTMA, Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters (CME), Ontario Aerospace Council (OAC) and the Organization of Canadian Nuclear Industries (OCI).

Efficient tool setup

by John Ripka

If your punch press is not punching parts 100% of the time, it’s not making money

Oxy-fuel cut quality

by Steve Zlotnick

How to achieve consistent cutting results

The making of the Tesla Model S

The Tesla Model S is considered the first premium Sedan powered purely by electricity.

Quebec landing gear maker boosts US business

Precision SF Tech, an aerospace landing gear manufacturer based in Terrebonne, QC, has secured a significant order with an American aerospace giant with the help of a loan guarantee from Export Development Canada (EDC).

Welding in manufacturing: conference

Metal fabricators and welders will have an opportunity to hear about the latest in welding trends and technologies at the 4th annual conference of the Canadian Welding Association (CWA), CanWeld Conference 2013.

Cutting Tools: Blocking Bad Vibes

by Kip Hanson

Five tooling manufacturers weigh in on ways to stop chatter during internal turning operations

Five Axis Advances

FIELD NOTES:

product: DMU 160 P duoBlock and DMC 65 monoBlock machining centres

OSG Canada adds to tooling lineup

OSG Canada has added two new tooling lines to its product offering.

Bystronic Canada appoints new direct sales engineer

Bystronic Canada has appointed David Golls as direct sales engineer for Alberta and British Columbia.

Maximizing Your Machine ROI

by Kevin Burton

Getting machine investment ‘right from the start’ is the key to reducing payback times

Stay In Touch

twitter facebook linkedIn