Additive Manufacturing permits cost-effective production for individual items as well as batch items. The complexity of a part has almost no bearing on manufacturing time and costs.
When conventional manufacturing processes such as milling, turning or casting, are used, the production costs are closely linked to the complexity of a part. The reason: It is generally necessary to produce complicated tools or complex specialized solutions. Such specially produced parts are used in many industries. They always represent a risk factor for suppliers because of the constant time pressure associated with prompt manufacturing.
Additive Manufacturing (AM) is the comprehensive solution to these problems: The laser sintering process, because it requires no tools, permits the fast, precise and cost-effective production of complex parts – even in smaller series or even batches as small as one unit. In AM almost the only relevant factor in terms of costs is the external geometry. On the other hand, the complexity of a part has almost no bearing on manufacturing time and costs. Complex lightweight structures can often actually reduce weight and save material costs.
AM technology at EOS enables extensive function integration, so that springs or hinged joints can be integrated in the parts during the production process. This makes it possible significantly to reduce the number of individual parts that make up a product. This not only reduces assembly costs significantly, but also the administrative effort, for example in ERP systems. The constructive revision or immediate reorganisation of the parts in line with the new manufacturing technique means that the economic potential of Additive Manufacturing can be exploited to the greatest possible extent.
The construction of an injection mould for the production of cup holders illustrates the benefits of AM at EOS: manufacturer Innomia has used the technology to reduce the production time and therefore the costs. The EOS process has proven itself in practice and Innomia can benefit from faster and much more cost-efficient production:
- 43 per cent shorter cooling time (16 sec. instead of 28.5 sec.)
- 31 per cent shorter cycle time (26.5 sec. instead of 38.9 sec.)
- 43 per cent shorter production time for the injection mould (13 days instead of 23 days)
- Consistently high functionality
The construction of an injection mould for the production of cup holders illustrates the benefits of AM at EOS: manufacturer Innomia has used the technology to reduce the production time and therefore the costs (Source: Innomia, EOS)