Trumpf, Ditzingen, Germany, has demonstrated how the use of connected metal Additive Manufacturing machines can boost transparency in digitalised factories. Trumpf has already employed digitalisation and other industry 4.0 solutions in its workflows for other manufacturing technologies, and stated that it is now transferring these solutions to its TruPrint series of AM machines for workflow optimisation.
In November 2018, to enable Formnext attendees to experience the advantages of connected manufacturing first hand at its booth, Trumpf displayed a number of TruPrint machines connected to a manufacturing execution system (MES) and a smart ordering platform. These two solutions offer employees mobile, real-time access to the machines’ process data and pending orders, and facilitates planning and paperless management of production, which boosts transparency, flexibility and ultimately manufacturing productivity.
“Trumpf is a leader in Industry 4.0,” stated Tobias Baur, Trumpf General Manager Additive Manufacturing with responsibility for technology. “We also show how the 3D printing process chain can be completely digitalised – from tender preparation to printed component.”
To establish additive technologies in industrial manufacturing, Trumpf is continuing to focus on ensuring that its systems are highly reliable and efficient. “Otherwise, 3D printing methods can’t compete with conventional technologies such as milling and casting,” stated Thomas Fehn, Trumpf General Manager Additive Manufacturing with responsibility for sales.
Trumpf brings more than fifty years of experience in machine tools to the table, and is somewhat unique as an Additive Manufacturing machine maker in that it offers all components of the technology under one roof: laser beam sources, optics, machines and post-processing technologies such as milling. “We have everything you need for 3D printing,” added Fehn. “This is highly advantageous when industrialising these processes because we have access to the technologies that best fit our customers’ needs.”
In order to fully utilise Additive Manufacturing as a mass-production technology, Trumpf stated, AM systems must be automated. It is for this reason that the new TruPrint 5000 incorporates an automated process start, reducing manual system preparation activities, as well as saving time and improving both quality and productivity.