Digital Metal, Höganäs, Sweden, has launched what it describes as a fully automated ‘no-hand’ production concept for the series production of components using metal Binder Jetting technology. In this concept, the majority of the process steps involved in part production will be handled by a robot, eliminating most manual work involved and thus increasing productivity.
The robot will feed the printer with build boxes, which will then be moved for post-treatment in a CNC-operated depowdering system combined with a pick-and-place robot. There, the remaining metal powder will be removed and recycled, and the parts placed on sintering plates before being moved by the main robot to the sintering furnace for combined debinding and sintering, in batches or for continuous production.
Ralf Carlström, General Manager at Digital Metal, stated, “Most AM technologies show a very low level of automation. Our aim is to change that. With the new no-hand production line, our customers can further improve their productivity and lower the production costs.”
“Almost all manually intensive work can be eliminated and, in addition, the powders removed in the cleaning machine can be recirculated in the process, thus minimising waste,” he continued. “As we see it, the Digital Metal technology is now applicable for the serial production of high-volume components.”
Digital Metal’s DM P2500 system uses Binder Jetting technology and is currently in use for the production of parts in series of up to 40,000 components. In 2018, the company signed a number of delivery agreements with major European automotive and aerospace companies. “We believe there is a huge potential for our unique technology,” added Carlström. “Not only is it very fast and cost-effective, it is also able to create complicated and highly detailed designs with wide material choice.”