In the newly opened TechCenter Additive Manufacturing in Mülheim an der Ruhr, Thyssenkrupp is industrializing the 3D printing of metals and plastics. The entire planning and manufacturing process is digital. Through its existing experience and research partnerships, the company wants to use the potential of 3D printing close to the customer. The key markets of machine and plant construction, aviation, navy and automotive are to benefit from this technology. “Additive Manufacturing is a further step in the digital transformation of our Group and a building block in our innovation strategy,” said Dr. Heinrich Hiesinger, Chairman of the Board of Thyssenkrupp AG, at the opening of the Center.
A small, agile team works with a printer for metals and plastics in a production hall on the premises of the steering manufacturer of thyssenkrupp. Both devices process powdered base materials according to the Selective Laser melting or sintering process and build layered components. As a blueprint only one CAD file is necessary, the product can then be finished directly from the digital data, without media breaks. The conventional process step of tool or mold construction is omitted. “For the first time, it is possible that we focus entirely on the design as such without having to take into account the limits of conventional production processes – this creates a completely new potential for innovation”, explains Dr. Reinhold Achatz, technology manager of thyssenkrupp AG.
Additive Manufacturing as a Community Task
In the new TechCenter, products and technologies are further developed, competencies are even more closely linked and the focus is consciously placed on projects with industrialization potential. In the next three years, the Group’s central development department will be responsible for the TechCenter, before going on under the umbrella of the Materials Services business area. “We know exactly which materials are optimal for which product and have the experience in logistics and project management in order to quickly advance the TechCenter. Through our broad customer base, we also have a clear vision of who benefits 3D printing technology, “said Hans-Josef Hoß, a member of thyssenkrupp Materials Services, at the inauguration of the center.
Source and preview photo: thyssenkrupp
Author: Alexander Kirschbaum / marketSTEEL