The National Academy of Science and Engineering (acatech), an organisation funded by the German federal and state governments, has held its annual senate meeting at Siemens headquarters in Munich. The senate consists of 105 renowned figures from leading German technology companies and the event addressed important future topics of the industry, such as sustainability of digital transformation processes or global supply chains as well as the digital twin. Here, in the ‘Real Life Experience’, senators observed use cases in which the digital twin is already being applied. One of these use cases was the SFM-AT800-S postprocessing system for additively manufactured parts from Solukon Maschinenbau GmbH, Augsburg, Germany.
Dr Christoph Kiener, Principal Key Expert Functional Design for Manufacturing at Siemens, and Andreas Hartmann, Solukon CEO, showed the senators how algorithm-based depowdering can increase efficiency in the postprocessing of Additive Manufacturing. Flow simulation is key for software-controlled depowdering as it analyses the geometry of the digital twin of the part to find the corresponding motion sequence within the Solukon system.
The SFM-AT800-S uses an intelligent algorithm developed by Siemens to rotate a metal additively manufactured part for depowdering in a sequence calculated from the CAD geometry, precisely draining the residual powder from intricate cavities such as conformal cooling channels. This reduces manual labour time, waste powder and scrap parts due to powder residue issues.
By applying algorithmic depowdering, the user can clean complex parts reliably and fast. For subsequent cleaning jobs the user can use the motion sequence as a program. The senators, including host Dr Roland Busch, CEO of Siemens, observed the performance of algorithm-based depowdering.
“Solukon’s intelligent depowdering process is one of the lighthouse projects that shows how the digital twin and artificial intelligence make a difference in the industry,” stated Kiener. “Solukon is not only a customer and licensee of Siemens, but also a supplier and partner.”
Hartmann. added, “It was an honour for Solukon to show the depowdering software as a co-innovation of Siemens and Solukon at the acatech senate event.”