Indiana-based diesel engine maker Cummins Inc. has a protracted historical past of designing, manufacturing, distributing, and servicing energy options. Based 100 years in the past, the corporate works with prospects in almost 200 nations world wide, and turned to 3D printing two years in the past to assist with heavy-duty repairs. Just lately, Cummins offered its first 3D printed automotive half, which was simply step one in its technique to make use of mass manufacturing to disrupt the business and incorporate 3D printing into its personal enterprise practices at a bigger scale.
To this finish, the corporate is increasing its additive manufacturing portfolio with an funding in metallic 3D printing -using binder jet expertise by its strategic companion GE Additive, to be actual. Shaun Wootton, GE Additive’s PR and Media Relations Chief, informed us that Cummins is “one of many first prospects to put money into our binder jet expertise.”
Binder jetting includes transferring a print head throughout a mattress of powder, whereas on the identical time selectively depositing a liquid agent within the desired form into the powder. This binds the 2 areas collectively so strong half types a layer at a time. This technique of 3D printing can print elements 60 to 100 instances sooner than processes which can be laser-based, relying on how complicated the ultimate product is. This strategic funding – a part of Cummins’ implementation of Business four.zero – is the subsequent logical step to make in revolutionizing its manufacturing processes.
“By investing in 3D metallic additive applied sciences from GE Additive, we’re investing in Cummins and our prospects. This expertise has the potential to offer our prospects with a faster, lower-cost manufacturing technique that in the end makes use of much less power, which implies we will higher serve our prospects and cut back our environmental affect,” mentioned Tim Millwood, Vice President of International Manufacturing at Cummins Inc.
Cummins already has two Idea Laser M2 DMLM methods, certainly one of which is situated at its Technical Middle; the opposite is put in, together with two different metallic 3D printers, at its Analysis and Improvement Middle in Mexico. The truth is, the primary 3D printed metallic half the corporate offered – a low-volume bracket – was fabricated on certainly one of its M2 printers. By including new binder jet 3D printers, which will likely be situated at GE Additive’s Cincinnati, Ohio lab, Cummins will have the ability to reliably print complicated elements of each medium and huge sizes at a decrease price and better throughput. This implies the corporate will have the ability to focus its future technique on high-volume manufacturing, although it’s at present 3D printing low-volume elements solely as a strategy to research, as Cummins put it, “how greatest to make use of 3D expertise in greater quantity manufacturing.”
GE Additive has been working laborious to quickly scale its binder jet expertise over the previous few years. Its full, industrialized manufacturing unit resolution ought to be commercially accessible within the early a part of 2021.
“In early 2019, we launched the beta testing and companion program and intentionally sought out companions and key prospects, like Cummins, who’re dedicated to mass manufacturing. As Cummins celebrates its 100th 12 months, it stays steadfast in its dedication to being on the reducing fringe of innovation. Above all, we wish to companion with corporations whose companies and prospects will profit tremendously from binder jet applied sciences,” mentioned Jake Brunsberg, Binder Jet Product Line Chief.
Groups from Cummins will likely be co-located at GE Additive’s Cincinnati lab in an effort to work collectively on expertise growth. Later this 12 months, the 3D printers will likely be relocated to one of many firm’s personal services. This funding will certainly assist velocity up its course towards scaled additive manufacturing manufacturing.
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