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ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING Scaling manufacturing obstacles with Additive Manufacturing

Feb 20, 2019

The automotive sector at the global level has been transforming over the years, continuously reaching the zenith with evolutions in technology. This evolution has been brought to fruition by the latest advancements in Additive Manufacturing. This article explores the advancements in Additive Manufacturing, which has liberated the production of components across industries from the bounds of inefficiency and has pushed the sector towards a more profitable and customer-oriented goal.

The automotive sector worldwide is growing rapidly and is also undergoing significant transformational changes. With the primary focus upon the funding activity in the electric vehicle ecosystem, shared mobility and safety, industries globally are looking forward to improving their efficiency and the sustainability quotient right from the manufacturing phase. While the World Economic Forum, which assesses the manufacturing capabilities of more than 100 countries, ranks India 30th on the global manufacturing index, the government’s ‘Make in India’ initiative has played a crucial role in elevating the country’s manufacturing growth.

Even though we still have a long way to go before India can attain the position of a global leader in the manufacturing arena, companies in the automotive sector are looking at the prospectus of this tremendous scope in the sector and have been seen embracing it to leverage India as a hub for low-cost production and yet, high-quality products.

Surmounting manufacturing inconveniences

The changing tides in the manufacturing sector are certainly witnessed among the segments such as, automotives. Today, the automotive industry is focused on energy-efficient engines, striving for reducing CO2 emissions and meeting the increasing demands for customer-specific components in serial production.

Quite often, other manufacturing practices come off as inefficient when faced with these challenges and another concern for the manufacturers is that, on most occasions, it is simply not possible to apply them to small batch sizes and still bring in great profits. The automobile components particularly customised in order to adapt accordingly to the customer-specific requirements reflect changing expectations of the new-age customers. Also, while considering the manufacturing segments where enhanced customisation is required, it has been observed that a distinct solution is the need of the hour. Another disadvantage of conventional manufacturing technique is that they limit design freedom. The end result obtained is that the components are always an outcome of a compromise between function and feasibility. Additive Manufacturing overcomes this negotiation between utility and viability of the product quite easily.

For this very reason, Additive Manufacturing is the singlemost competent solution to unravel the difficulties that the aforementioned cases pose. The chief benefit of Additive Manufacturing is that it allows cost-efficient manufacturing of individualised mass products. Additionally, AM technology allows maximum design freedom—a core element to enable the production of components with integrated functionality.

Pristine technology of facile production

only designed, but also produced and installed as integrated components—all with the AM technology. By reducing the mass of moving and/or accelerating components, manufacturers can also credit to their product an important direct enhancement of energy efficiency.

Additive Manufacturing is the solution for individualised serial production of high-end, weight-optimised components in automotive engineering. For any global manufacturer, Additive Manufacturing is quite the tool to achieve everything that a state-of-the-art manufacturing unit would require. This technology enables the production of components with integrated functionality. All this is achieved without the need for any tools, which thereby translates into the reduction of the development and production costs. What’s more is that the suppliers can easily respond to any customer requirements by offering individualised serial production of components as per the necessity of the customer.

Rapid prototyping based on Additive Manufacturing also means that automobile manufacturers can increase the efficiency of their research and development processes, which in turn enables them to get their products out in the market more quickly. The focus here is put on not just geometrical part accuracy. EOS is continuously expanding its range of new materials in order to ensure that parts are functionally reproducible, too, and can be almost effortlessly installed directly in serial production vehicles.

Next level of automotive evolution

Hence, as the automotive sector continues to innovate and expand, manufacturers, too, are constantly looking for avenues to aid in its progression. In diverse avenues of manufacturing, such as from thermal management to battery optimisation, AM of today represents the fuel that has the potential to power the next level of automotive evolution and make the dream of an automated future a reality.

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  • Additive Manufacturing is the solution for individualised serial production of high-end, weight-optimised components in automotive engineering

  • Anand Prakasam

    Country Manager

    EOS India

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