AM project launched in response to Covid-19

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A new project funded by Innovate UK is responding to the disruption faced in the additive manufacturing (AM) industry during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Due to Covid-19, many additive manufacturing facilities have been forced to halt production, with shop floor activities limited due to lockdown and social distancing measures. With the potential to manufacture critical medical instruments in short lead times, it’s crucial for AM facilities to be able to respond quickly during health and societal crises.

The new project, dubbed 'Remote Additive Manufacturing Control for Uninterrupted Facility Management' (RAM-Ctrl), aims to provide business continuity within the AM industry by enabling facilities to operate equipment remotely via an agnostic remote control hub (RCH). The RCH would be capable of sending files to AM systems, launching builds, controlling machine features and monitoring machine diagnostics.

Remote monitoring and control systems currently exist within the AM market but are limited by machine manufacturer, with no remote solution yet available with the capability of communicating with systems from various manufacturers. RAM-Ctrl will develop a scalable central control platform (CCP) to manage multiple AM systems from different machine manufacturers.

The project will run for six months and is being led by digital transformation and Internet of Things firm NquiringMinds. The Welding Institute (TWI) will also be involved with the new project.

Story source: TWI.

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