Head, Additive Manufacturing UK
The ability of disruptive technologies to improve what are already efficient manufacturing processes is helping to revolutionise modern manufacturing and creating tantalising possibilities for what may be achievable in the near future.
Digitisation and Artificial Intelligence (AI) are two of the latest technologies to offer exciting possibilities for the world of manufacturing. At AMUK, we are helping companies embrace the potential of new technology to develop the manufacturing techniques which will futureproof their business and supercharge growth opportunities.
Example of disruptive technology in manufacturing
Additive Manufacturing (AM) is a technology with huge potential to revolutionise the way we design and manufacture parts and products. Unlike traditional methods — where material is removed during the manufacturing process, such as in machine tool cutting — AM is a manufacturing process where 3D parts are produced by building layer-upon-layer of material. The process reduces waste and creates precision products with minimal effort, enhancing efficiency and potentially reducing production costs for small batch runs.
Design freedom in additive manufacturing
The design freedom offered by AM has not been achievable using traditional manufacturing processes. This is why it is fast becoming the production system of choice for many manufacturers, especially smaller companies on the lower tiers of the supply chain where costs are a major operational consideration.
The possibilities offered by AI, married to AM techniques, are tantalising prospects for the industry. Designers can utilise AI to explore the boundaries of what might be possible in AM design and processing. This enhances the fabrication of complex components by eliminating fallibilities before the component is ever put into production — and in turn, aiding quality control.
The process reduces waste and creates precision products with minimal effort.
Precision tolerances for new and existing techniques
The technology is not restricted to new techniques. It can be used to optimise an existing design by analysing the tolerances a particular product must meet. These tolerances, such as those applicable to the aerospace sector, can be highly complex and therefore require a process such as AI to examine how the part will perform in the real world.
The savings generated long-term could be lifechanging for the companies involved by significantly reducing research and development budgets, as well as production costs.
AMUK is the UK’s only trade association for the AM industry and is part of the Manufacturing Technologies Association cluster. It exists to promote and support the companies working within the AM value chain as well as educate potential users on the limitless possibilities offered by Additive technologies.