Nikon SLM Solutions (formally SLM Solutions) reports that it has formed a strategic alliance with Bosch Nuremberg, as the companies look to further the adoption of Additive Manufacturing in the automotive sector.
The Bosch Group, a leading global technology and services provider and a tier 1 automotive supplier, employs over 400,000 associates with subsidiaries and regional companies in some 60 countries. A move towards greater use of AM is expected to send the message that this technology is the future of automotive production, rather than just an experimental venture.
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Bosch Nuremberg’s journey into Additive Manufacturing was not without its hurdles, reported Nikon SLM Solutions. In the beginning, the technology was seen as just another tool in its manufacturing arsenal. However, when this didn’t yield the expected results, a paradigm shift occurred.
“Our transformation was defined by a transition from a solely technology-driven mindset to one that places paramount importance on the distinct advantages of the product,” stated Kai Kuhlmann, Director of Technical Functions at Bosch Nuremberg’s facility. “The heart of our revamped strategy is to utilise AM’s unparalleled design capabilities, thereby enhancing product performance, optimising cost management, and setting a gold standard for quality.”
The relationship between the two companies isn’t just transactional, it is said to be a melding of minds and expertise, resulting in a synergistic drive toward innovation. Having already established a number of metal and plastic AM centres, Bosch Nuremberg is ready to integrate AM within its global operations.
Bosch Nuremberg operates multiple AM machines, including the SLM®500 Laser Beam Powder Bed Fusion (PBF-LB) machine from Nikon SLM Solutions. The large build volume, swappable build cylinders, and open architecture are intended to make quick work of the prototyping phase, whilst still being production-focused.
Sam O’Leary, CEO of Nikon SLM Solutions, stated that the cornerstone of this collaboration is its “open-architecture philosophy” – a philosophy that focuses not only on the technology itself but also on its integration into tried-and-tested production processes.
OEMs, always on the hunt for innovation and differentiation, may stand to gain from this shift to Additive Manufacturing, added Nikon SLM Solutions. Furthermore, as OEMs grapple with the distinct challenges of EVs, solutions offered by AM may become increasingly relevant.
Find out more about the SLM 500 here.