The National Center for Defense Manufacturing and Machining (NCDMM), Blairsville, Pennsylvania, USA, reports that AMNOW Program participant, Tronix3D, Mount Pleasant, Pennsylvania, USA, hosted officials from the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command (CCDC) last month for an Additive Manufacturing technology demonstration. Representatives from NCDMM and LECS Energy LLC, an AMNOW Program partner, were also in attendance.
The AMNOW programme, launched in 2019, is led by NCDMM in partnership with Catalyst Connection, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA, and designed to support Additive Manufacturing technology’s insertion into the existing U.S. Army supply chain. Structured as a multi-phase, multi-year contract, AMNOW is funded by the U.S. Army CCDC Aviation & Missile Center through the U.S. Army Manufacturing Science and Technology (MS&T) Division under the newly formed U.S. Army Futures Command.
U.S. Army officials observed the implementation of LECS Energy’s Learning Integrated Manufacturing System (LIMS), including the data that was collected during the AM process and its impact. The LIMS technology enables a secure digital connection from the supply chain using high-level cryptographic hardware not usually deployed in manufacturing environments. It is also a critical edge device within the Advanced Manufacturing Intelligence Platform (AMIP). The AMIP is the cloud connection, which enables the rapid transfer of manufacturing process information between the U.S. Army and its suppliers to build confidence in additively manufactured critical parts.
During the demonstration, Tronix3D displayed real-time data collection capabilities from its operations software; IoT sensors; and embedded, programmable nanoparticles. Additionally, industry partner Trumpf Additive enabled access to real-time machine data directly from its metal Additive Manufacturing machines.
“As the lead of the AMNOW program, we are pleased with Tronix3D’s progress, as well as the outcome of the demonstration, and are excited about continuing our relationship,” stated Ashley Totin, NCDMM Senior Project Engineer. “This visit was significant for us to identify the future benefits of the data being collected by Tronix3D, including perpetual updates to cybersecurity protocols, process optimisation, and overall operational efficiency.”
Buck Helfferich, Tronix3D president, commented, “One of the goals Tronix3D has within the project is to improve data collection and transference during Additive Manufacturing to help maintain and control the 3D printing process. This monitoring is an important component of the manufacturing process to ensure a repeatable production process of high-quality parts.”