Dutch workflow automation company AM-Flow will showcase the world’s first AM inline quality control solution at the upcoming Formnext in Frankfurt in November at stand E59 in hall 12.1. During the show, the machine vision systems provider will unveil the newest module in its stack of workflow automation solutions. The AM-QUALITY production line is supposed to allow quality control of each part produced in 3D printing factories at an unprecedented high processing speed.
After winning the Formnext start Up Challenge Award in 2020, AM-Flow demonstrated a real working environment at the 2021 edition of the event, showing post-processing steps such as picking and placing, identification, sorting and routing of 3D printed parts. For this year’s edition, the startup’s team of AM experts will discuss the benefits and importance of implementing these solutions in the factory. This is important for the industry, which is seeing a move towards adopting AM as a serious manufacturing technology. For this reason, AM-Flow believes the technology needs to become truly competitive, which means cost per print and lead times need to be reduced. An automated end-to-end AM production line can significantly reduce costs and lead times.
With a cycle time of 10 seconds per part, with a resolution of 50 microns and 100% quality control, the AM-QUALITY identifies problems such as breakages, deformations and surface defects, allowing early detection and processing lower quality prints immediately during production. , says AM-Flow in a recent statement. Able to ensure the highest quality standards and enable certification for medical, automotive and aerospace customers, AM-QUALITY is expected to significantly reduce the cost per part of quality control from dozens of dollars to just pennies.
AM-Flow co-founder and CEO Stefan Rink suggests, “Our perspective has always been to provide industrial solutions to the AM industry, setting industry standards, to help it evolve and take advantage of the main benefits of AM. With our identification, sorting, bagging, conveying and parts picking modules, AM-QUALITY, as the latest member of the AM-Flow family of solutions, will help evolve the manufacturing industry additive and will increasingly be the manufacturing technology of choice. for more and more applications.
Supported by AM-Flow’s proprietary middleware software platform (the AM-LOGIC trademark), AM-QUALITY feeds all generated data back to customers’ Manufacturing Execution System (MES), allowing reprints immediate if necessary and optimizing the settings of 3D printers and post-production equipment, creating what is described as “true Industry 4.0” and a “global game changer for the additive manufacturing industry in terms of concerns the evaluation of the quality of 3D printed parts”.
Founded in 2018 in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, AM-Flow tackles cost per part in AM by focusing on one of the most expensive steps in the 3D printing process chain: post-production. The company offers a complete solution, combining cutting-edge technologies like computer vision, machine learning and intelligent robotics to achieve an end-to-end automated post-production workflow.
His vision includes end-to-end digital production technology that will become truly competitive with existing manufacturing processes, especially injection molding. That’s why the company is fully working on automating the end-to-end 3D printing process. From its offices at the Brainport Industries Campus (BIC) in Eindhoven, where it develops mechatronics, vision and robotics, AM-Flow has been working on overcoming significant hurdles to achieve a post-processing workflow of fully automated 3D printing, such as 3D part recognition using geometry.
“The 3D printing industry can learn a lot from other industries,” says Rink. “For example, automated picking and placing, track and trace, transport and packaging. The big difference is the individualized geometries and the fact that you don’t have a limited standard product library with common product identification tags. That’s what we started to solve: we can now identify parts in a fraction of a second based on geometry alone. AM-Flow provides recognition, sorting and routing of printed parts, where the MES software indicates which printers the parts come from and where they should go next: for post-processing or to be packed and shipped to the end customer. ”
AM-Flow customers, such as BMW, Midwest Prototyping, Shapeways, Materialise, Marketiger and Oceanz, can regain full control of their workflow by automating steps, AM-Flow describes. Ultimately, the company plans to use its solution to help customers scale their businesses, increase revenue, and get the most out of their production assets.
AM-Flow will unveil its all-new, comprehensive solution stack to automate all post-print workflows in AM production facilities at noon on Tuesday, November 15, 2022, at Formnext 2022.
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