Steps towards integrated AM from EOS
EOS and GF Machining Solutions have entered a strategic partnership that will combine conventional and additive manufacturing processes.
The pair will focus on the mould and die sector but, should the project be successful, could also improve the integration of AM machines within the production chain; something that has been extensively discussed before but is yet to be realised.
Last May speakers at the AKL International Laser Technology Congress held in Aachen, Germany, voiced concerns that industry was trying to force a disruptive technology into an industry that was designed for more conventional, reductive manufacturing processes, and that this partly is what is hindering the integration of AM into large-scale production.
However, with this project EOS and GF are looking to address this. EOS founder and CEO, Dr Hans Langer said: ‘The cooperation allows us to increase the value for customers by integrating conventional and additive technologies. This is a large step towards seamless production and we join forces with a strong and experienced partner.’
GF Machining Solutions is a division of Swiss-based industrial company GF, Schaffhausen and provides machine tools, automation solutions and customer services for the production of moulds, dies and high value added metal parts. The division has manufacturing facilities in Switzerland, Sweden and China, and serves its customers through its own sales companies in more than 50 countries.
By adding additive manufacturing technologies to this list, customers have the option to generate metal inserts featuring cooling close to the surface, allowing a shorter mould cooling sequence and therefore a much faster plastic injection cycle.
GF CEO, Yves Serra, said: ‘We welcome very much this strategic partnership. GF and EOS complement each other very well to offer the large customer base of GF Machining Solutions a unique set of technologies.’
GF and EOS will undertake the integration of the additive manufacturing machines into the production process of mould inserts, including the necessary software and automation link with downstream machine tools and measuring devices.
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