TÜV SÜD Industrie Service GmbH, Munich, Germany, has completed its first audit of Rosswag GmbH, a manufacturer of metal powder, headquartered in Pfinztal, Germany. The audit forms part of a new certification programme based on the AD 2000 Code for pressure equipment and the European Pressure Equipment Directive (PED).
According to TÜV SÜD, it has developed a new certification programme enabling metal powder manufacturers to prove the quality of their processes. The programme maps the essential safety requirements specified in Annex I to the EU Pressure Equipment Directive 2014/68/EU in reference to the material manufacturer, in conjunction with the detailed requirements of the W 0 leaflet of the German AD 2000 Code.
The AD 2000 Code is to specify the essential safety requirements according to the PED. The code includes the general principles for materials, joining methods, personnel and the necessary qualification tests. In addition to quality assurance and traceability, it is also said to cover evidence of the production reliability of certain material groups and the fundamental suitability of the metal powder for Additive Manufacturing.
“In our certification programme for metal powder manufacturers, we have complemented the requirements of the PED and the W 0 leaflet with our expertise and experience in materials and welding technologies,” stated Gunther Kuhn, Head of Product Management in the Plant Safety business unit of TÜV SÜD. “The programme provides us with an excellent basis for the reliable assessment and certification of metal powder manufacturers.”
In 2017, Rosswag’s Additive Manufacturing department introduced in-house metal powder manufacturing for the qualification of new materials. Gregor Graf, Engineering Manager at Rosswag, explained, “The purchase of our own atomising plant made by BluePower Casting Systems GmbH has enabled us to control the entire process chain and massively reduce the time needed for the qualification of new materials. After completing the qualification process, we now have comprehensive data sets comprising metal powder characteristics and PBF process parameters as well as mechanical and technological, chemical and metallographic material properties.”
This is said to enable the company to consider the typical characteristics of the future component in conjunction with the manufacturing process, a relevant feature for complex application scenarios involving Additive Manufacturing components. During the certification process, experts from TÜV SÜD focused on the processes applied to the manufacturing, testing and qualification of the metal powder at Rosswag and assessed them extensively in an on-site audit.
Graf added, “The successful audit result confirms that we have full control of our processes and that our production of metal powders for use in Additive Manufacturing satisfies very high quality standards.” Rosswag reports that the third-party assessment and certification by TÜV SÜD is an important contribution to maintaining competitive edge in a market that it expects will see high dynamic and strong growth over the coming years. It is anticipated that following the successful audit, the certification process will be completed within two months.