“AM Factory of Tomorrow” by Concept Laser

concept laserConcept Laser presented a new machine and plant architecture. The new, integrated machine concept under the heading of “AM Factory of Tomorrow” promises a new level of Additive Manufacturing in terms of quality, flexibility and increase in performance. The modular integration of the machine technology into the manufacturing environment is amazing thanks to a radically new approach in the design of process components. Ultimately, this makes faster and more economic industrial production solutions available. This vision will soon be reality: Concept Laser has announced a market launch by as early as the end of 2016.

Concept Laser is now attempting, with a new machine architecture, to expand the usually quantitative sections with new, qualitative aspects. “In essence,” says Dr. Florian Bechmann, Head of R&D at Concept Laser, “it is about splitting up build job preparation/build job follow-up processing and Additive Manufacturing in any number of combinable modules. With comparatively large build envelopes, build jobs can be carried out with a time delay. The intention is that this should drastically reduce the “downtimes” of previous stand-alone machines. There is plenty of potential here for improving the level of added value in the production chain. In contrast to purely quantitative approaches of previous machine concepts, we see here a fundamentally new approach for advancing industrial series production one step further.”

At present, regional printing centers are being created as service providers all around the globe. This development is characterized by the transition from “prototyping” to a desire for flexible series production at an industrial level. The AM users experience the pressure of traditional manufacturing: demand for space, expansion of the machinery, increasing operating tasks and in particular times. In the new concept from Concept Laser, interesting solutions are offered in this regard: Production is “decoupled in machine terms” from the preparation processes. The time window for AM production is increased to a “24/7 level,” meaning that there is higher availability of all components. An automated flow of materials palpably reduces the workload for the operators. Interfaces integrate the laser melting machine into traditional CNC machine technology, as is important for hybrid parts, for example, but also into downstream processes (post-processing / finishing).

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