S020_PROC-852.2015

ACHEMA Worldwide News2/2015

Worldwide News ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING IN THE PROCESS INDUSTRY Imagine what you can do with 3D printing … for example print an action figure of yourself, create a (yet rather rudimental) artificial hand or produce eatable works of art from goat’s cheese. There are almost no limits to imagination. That’s true for the fantasy of apparatus and plant engineers as well — the vision of the tailor-made plant comes closer. DR. BJÖRN MATHES* The range of available technologies is broad: Polymers, silicone, aluminum or steel can be printed depending on the material and the application with different techniques such as laser sintering or melting. The combination of materials and methods leads to a stunning variety of available technologies to meet a wide range of requirements. In contrast to what is often suggested, additive manufacturing and 3D printing are not novelties. Charles Hull, the found- * B. Mathes is Head of PRAXISforen at DECHEMA e.V. to a printer that spits out the required piece in a wink. And if the equipment with the wanted specification does not exist in the market, it can be calculated and produced on site. Custom parts and small batch sizes are irrelevant, tools and moulds become redundant, and all this while saving on material. Consequently, many experts predict that additive manufacturing will become a standard element of process and reaction technology. The German Siemens group regards additive manufacturing as an integral part of future production technology and is already printing spare parts er of 3D Systems, developed the first 3D printer as early as 1984. In Germany, some pioneers have been producing components for more than 25 years using additive manufacturing. But today as the demand for ever more complex custom parts is increasing, this technology is experiencing a boom. Firing the Imagination In the process industries, the new methods fire the imagination: Instead of producing spare parts and sending them via container or plane around the globe, in the future the data could simply be sent 20 A special edition from PROCESS Picture: lculig – Fotolia


ACHEMA Worldwide News2/2015
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