The company has also been working on new simulation techniques to improve production processes using integrated computational materials and manufacturing engineering. This new method for improving materials development and manufacturing links together results from individual simulations. The goal is to create a process that coordinates all parameters so as to obtain a finished part that meets exact specifications.
How innovation changes in times of disruptive, revolutionary technologies that supersede other processes was a topic examined by Dr Ingomar Kelbassa, Department Manager for Manufacturing Development and Industrialisation at Siemens AG in Berlin (Power and Gas Division).
“Additive Manufacturing in conjunction with the digitalisation of production allows us to significantly bypass traditional processes,” explained the former ILT researcher. “For that to happen, though, those involved have to change the way they think.”
Recently, Siemens proved that using Additive Manufacturing as an alternative to standard approaches could pay off. The company had already introduced solutions for gas turbine combustion system components that were ready for production, but has since made developments in 3D printing of rotating components. Siemens fully tested the turbine blades, which were produced from start to finish using Additive Manufacturing, in a gas turbine. The process employed a Selective Laser Melting (SLM) process developed at Fraunhofer ILT.
“The use of SLM leads to a paradigm shift in development and validation, enabling the innovation cycle to be shortened by up to 90 percent. The industrialisation of Additive Manufacturing has thus begun,” Kelbassa explained.
Some 18 presentations were given by speakers from both industry and research, who examined further challenges facing today’s turbomachinery manufacturing. Among other issues, they considered developments in the fields of laser metal deposition and selective laser melting (Fraunhofer ILT), processes for blisk production (Fraunhofer IPT), and a newly developed method for analysing big data in turbomachinery manufacturing (SAP).
Dr Volker Kreidler, Head of Industry 4.0 Products & Innovations at SAP SE in Walldorf’s presentation on Big Data in Turbomachinery Manufacturing highlighted aspects of the digital transformation in turbomachinery manufacturing, such as how to handle constantly growing volumes of data, which data can be processed in real time, and how users can gather data from a wide range of sources.
Big data is expected to be one of the main topics at the “5th Conference of the ICTM International Center for Turbomachinery Manufacturing Aachen” in February 2019.