Sandvik announced at Formnext that it has substantially increased its capacity for metal AM by installing several new Renishaw RenAM 500Q quad laser machines. The company is also initiating further collaboration with Renishaw in areas such as materials development, AM process technologies and post-processing.
This print capacity expansion follows a recently announced investment of $22 million in a new plant for the manufacturing of titanium and nickel powders for additive manufacturing, which will complement Sandvik's existing Osprey™ powder offering to include virtually all alloy groups of relevance today.
The new multi-laser RenAM 500Q systems complement Sandvik's existing AM machines, which include printers from EOS, Concept Laser, Arcam and ExOne. As a collective, the machines now cover a very wide range of printing technologies for different materials and applications.
When it comes to additive manufacturing, no two use cases are the same -- the optimal balance of weight, strength, hardness, thermal characteristics, flexibility, geometric complexity, surface finish and other characteristics varies from one application to the next. Therefore, Sandvik works across the entire value chain, from component selection, AM-design and modelling, through material choice/development and optimal printing process -- to post-processing, testing and quality assurance.
Kristian Egeberg, President of Sandvik Additive Manufacturing, says: "We refer to our process as 'Plan it. Print it. Perfect it.' Printing is only one of seven steps you need to master to obtain a perfect AM component. So, you have to think beyond printing to get the best possible value from additive manufacturing."
While much attention in the AM arena focuses on revolutionary designs, innovation at material level is equally important. With its Osprey™ range of metal powders, Sandvik has the in-house capability to produce the market's broadest portfolio of alloys, coupled with the metallurgical expertise to customize the best material for every application.
"We work closely with our customers to tailor alloys in line with their exact requirements, even for small batch print runs," says Annika Roos, Head of the Powder Division in Sandvik. "Not only do we match the alloy to the purpose, we can also optimize the particle size for the chosen printing process."
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