Additive Manufacturing is a quickly emerging industry with a strong technology focus. As a new industry, there is a continual improvement in productivity and efficiency while maintaining health and safety standards. The raw materials used in Additive Manufacturing, such as polymers and metals, offer challenges for which we have created high quality solutions.
What is Additive Manufacturing?
Additive Manufacturing (AM), also known as 3D printing, generative manufacturing or rapid prototyping, is an all-encompassing term for any manufacturing process in which material is deposited layer by layer to produce three-dimensional objects (workpieces).
Additive Manufacturing, 3D printing, can be used for more than just prototyping and manufacturing but also in the industry, for model making and research to produce models, patterns, tools and, end products as well as for personal use cases. Further applications are construction, art and medicine.
Automation of powder handling
Given the high growth rates and increasing opportunities in the Additive Manufacturing industry, powder handling automation is key to establishing the technology as a standard production process. While it is setting new standards in the realisation of products, many process steps are still manual. This includes in particular the loading of the production equipment with the appropriate plastic or metal powder. Further, the use of vacuum conveying technologies can help protect people, products and the environment.
Ideal vacuum conveyors for Additive Manufacturing
With our extensive experience in material handling, Piab's vacuum conveyors have long been an efficient solution for the Additive Manufacturing process. Nevertheless, the evolution of our product range allows for a higher level of customization. Piab has developed three different product configurations depending on the product and conveying requirements specifically for AM manufacturers, OEMs, powder producers and suppliers. Piab's premium conveyors are equipped with a stainless steel (ASTM 316L) housing and feature Piab's patented and highly efficient COAX® vacuum technology. They are ATEX dust and gas certified and have built-in automatic filter cleaning. Piab has conducted in-house tests on various metals and alloys, which have shown that our vacuum conveyors can handle powders with a bulk density of 8 kg/litre [500 lbs./ft3] with an impressive throughput.
Working with a variety of Additive Manufacturing technologies such as Powder Bed Fusion, including Binder Jetting and Laser Sintering, Piab offers the greatest flexibility in integrating automated vacuum conveying solutions into any powder-based manufacturing process.
We are the bridge for you to safely industrialize your AM operations!
Piab your solid and reliable partner
In addition to our vacuum and lifting automation, vacuum conveying is a major division within Piab that focuses exclusively on the transport and movement of powders and bulk materials, handling sensitive powders and granules for the Pharmaceutical, Food and Chemical industries, and increasingly for the Additive Manufacturing process.
With an application and customisation centre in the US, Germany, Singapore and our headquarters in Sweden, we offer customised support and testing for your specific material to help you configure the most optimal solution for your process. In addition, our offices in France, Poland, Spain, the UK, Brazil and China offer testing facilities for a wide range of Piab’s vacuum conveying solutions. They are ready to help you with their extensive experience and know-how. We will find a way for the best possible solution at any scale.
Share your powder management challenge with us to see what we are capable of here!