3D printing contributes to Wabtec’s sustainability achievements

World rail and transit producer Wabtec has launched its 2020 Sustainability Report detailing the corporate’s ongoing dedication to its environmental and social duties.

The report outlines a string of actions the corporate has undertaken up to now so as to enhance its international environmental efficiency, together with how integrating additive manufacturing has contributed to the agency’s sustainability goals.

“Wabtec’s place as a world transportation chief offers us a singular perspective on the traits which might be impacting our clients and different stakeholders, particularly: local weather change, automation and digitization, and urbanization,” mentioned Rafael Santana, president and CEO of Wabtec. “Our 2020 Sustainability Report outlines a collection of aggressive objectives to deal with these traits, enhance our efficiency on international setting, social and governance issues, and drive a greater future for individuals and the planet.”

Wabtec’s Sustainability Report 2020. Picture through Wabtec.

Wabtec and 3D printing

Wabtec is a world chief within the provision of apparatus, methods, and digital options for the freight and transit rail sectors. The agency’s portfolio contains highly-engineered metallic elements and methods which it supplies to most main rail transit methods around the globe.

Final 12 months, Wabtec turned one of many first clients to acquire GE Additive‘s H2 binder jet metallic 3D printer, pushed by the intention to develop using additive manufacturing within the transportation trade.

Extra lately, the corporate introduced it had secured an 11,000 sq. foot plot in Pittsburgh’s additive manufacturing hub, Neighborhood 91. Anticipated to be accomplished by spring subsequent 12 months, Wabtec plans to make use of its new facility to supply light-weight components for its transit clients with a lead time discount of as much as 80 %.

Neighborhood 91 was launched by by Pittsburgh International Airport and University of Pittsburgh and formed to be part of the Pittsburgh Airport Innovation Campus. Image via Wabtec.Neighborhood 91 was launched by Pittsburgh Worldwide Airport and College of Pittsburgh and shaped to be a part of the Pittsburgh Airport Innovation Campus. Picture through Wabtec.

Enhancing sustainability via AM

At current, Wabtec makes use of 3D printing in its fabrication processes to cut back the fabric and power waste linked to advanced assemblies and the manufacturing of components. Integrating additive manufacturing allows manufacturing waste to be curtailed by 70-80 %, whereas time to market has been significantly shortened by as much as 90 %.

Wabtec produced greater than 1,250 3D printed prototypes all through 2019, changing into the primary rail provider to include metallic 3D printed components into manufacturing on its North American rolling inventory. Trying forward, the corporate is trying to produce over 25,000 additive manufactured components by 2025.

The agency can be using remanufacturing processes so as to preserve its merchandise in circulation for so long as doable, via decreasing waste, extending the life of apparatus, and driving price financial savings. Based on Wabtec, remanufacturing ends in round 296 million kilos of end-of-life materials being introduced again to its international manufacturing amenities annually, which is then reused or recycled with lower than one % waste.

“On virtually each continent we’re demonstrating the ability of what Wabtec can do once we work collectively to realize a typical objective,” Santana continued. “By specializing in sustainability and accountability, and with an unbelievable group behind us, I’m assured we’ll obtain our objectives and construct an even bigger, stronger Wabtec effectively positioned to maneuver and enhance the world.”

Wabtec produced more than 1,250 3D printed prototypes throughout 2019. Image via Wabtec. SustainabilityWabtec produced greater than 1,250 3D printed prototypes all through 2019. Picture through Wabtec.

Sustainability efforts within the 3D printing sector

Inside industries throughout the globe, sustainability has turn into a key consideration for all ranges of the availability chain. Decreasing waste, enhancing the effectivity of operations, integrating additive manufacturing, and digitization are all methods by which corporations try to enhance their processes consistent with their environmental and social duties.

Final 12 months, CEO of German 3D printer OEM EOS, Marie Langer, introduced that the corporate would do extra with the “optimistic environmental and social advantages” of 3D printing, whereas UK-based post-processing specialist Additive Manufacturing Applied sciences (AMT) outlined 4 pillars via which it might promote sustainability and security; no waste, higher chemistries, much less power, much less labor, and consumables.

Elsewhere, 3D printing is getting used to enhance the environmental footprint of producing spare components in favor of time and material-intensive conventional strategies. German engineering conglomerate ThyssenKrupp lately partnered with Wilhelmsen Ships Companies to ship 3D printed spare components for the maritime sector, whereas petrochemical agency Braskem adopted 3D software program start-up Spare Components 3D’s DigiPart program to assist optimize its stock provide chain, and in the end maintain much less inventory.

Additive manufacturing can be serving to companies draw nearer to the round economic system idea, a notion that seeks to make optimum use of assets so as to keep away from waste. Current tasks to this finish embrace producing biobased supplies for 3D printing from waste meals, and the creation of closed-loop provide chains producing high-performance metallic powders from scrap sources.

A Wilhelmsen logistics carrier ship. Photo by Bahnfrend/CC sustainabilityA Wilhelmsen logistics service ship. Picture through Bahnfrend/CC

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Featured picture reveals Wabtec’s Sustainability Report 2020. Picture through Wabtec.

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