VBN Components, located in Uppsala, Sweden, has established a new production plant in Uppsala for the manufacture of wear resistant steel components by Additive Manufacturing (AM). The company will use its Vibenite60 range of high-alloyed PM High Speed Steel materials to manufacture tools, wear parts and components with complicated geometries that would normally demand significant machining.
The company stated that in autumn 2014 it issued new shares and received a large investment which has led to the rapid establishment of the modern plant. The new facility makes it possible for manufacturing industries to improve their profitability through improved material properties and utilisation as well as offering shorter lead times.
“During a customer visit we discussed the 3D-printing of a component where the customer had bought big metal bars for the manufacturing of a tool and needed to remove 80% of the material by machining. We could show that VBN can manufacture the same component with as low as 0.5% scrap metal,” stated Martin Nilsson, CEO, VBN Components. “Of course, these substantial improvements are very positive, but we find the biggest gain to be that our material will last much longer than traditional components.”
VBN added that Volvo is one customer that is currently testing its gear hobs, a production tool for gear wheel manufacturing. The new additively manufactured gear hobs do not only result in shorter lead times and less material waste, the tool weight has also been reduced by 40%, down to 9 kg.
“VBN is first to market with this type of material directly adapted to 3D-printing. What is unique is to combine an extreme wear resistance with advanced product shapes through 3D-printing,” added Nilsson.