AM Press ReleasesFormnextMetal Additive Manufacturing

Additive manufacturing system from pro-beam accelerates production via parallel processes

Electron beam expert pro-beam is taking the metal additive manufacturing of serial components to the next level.

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The pro-beam Group presented its new additive manufacturing system PB EBM 30S one year ago. On the occasion of this year´s Formnext 2022 in Frankfurt, the company will now be disclosing further details regarding the machine’s main features. The system saves customers an enormous amount of time and offers high process quality and stability. pro-beam will be represented at Formnext in Frankfurt am Main in hall 12.0 at booth E59 from November 15th-18th, 2022. On-site visitors will have the chance to convince themselves of the system and process properties.

“With the PB EBM 30S, we have developed a highly innovative and extremely efficient system for our customers. We knew from the very early development stages on, that these innovations would enhance the additive manufacturing market and significantly advance serial production,” explained Dr. Thorsten Löwer, Managing Director of the pro-beam Group. “At Formnext 2022, we will be providing our visitors with further insights. We are looking forward to it!”

Turbocharger manufactured on the PB EBM 30S

BuildUnits: Time-savings via parallel processes

The PB EBM 30S is characterized by its high productivity for industrial serial manufacturing. This is achieved by carrying out production steps in parallel, such as setup, evacuation, building process and cooling. Therefore, the company developed so-called BuildUnits. Next to the metal powder, they contain an available build space of up to 300 x 300 x 400 mm. They pass through the different process areas of the PB EBM 30S as separate modules. As a consequence, up to three BuildUnits can be used in the system simultaneously. The optimized usage of the build chamber in combination with the minimal auxiliary process times increase the productivity of the system by 100 percent compared to other systems that do not feature any BuildUnit modules.

BuildUnits are currently available in two different sizes: 160 x 160 x 400 mm and 300 x 300 x 400 mm. Thus, the system can be used more flexibly, and processes can be designed more efficiently. The customer can use the smaller space, for example, for material qualification and the larger one for production. The suitable build space size can be selected, and powder use can be reduced depending on the size and number of components to be produced.

The powder required for a process is fed into the build chamber with the BuildUnit and then transported out of the system after processing along with the remaining powder. Since the metal powder is linked to the BuildUnit and not to the system, the powder types may vary from build job to build job along with the build space. Furthermore, the BuildUnit enables better spatial and personnel separation for pre- and post-processes, such as unit filling and depowdering. This enables PB EBM 30S to be integrated into existing machine parks.

RainTec: Spot strategy for homogeneous component properties

Another innovation from pro-beam is the spot strategy RainTec. The strategy uses controlled heat input that is adjusted to requirements. Individual spots are melted in a stochastically distributed manner, so that the entire/desired surface is only created in the late phase of the melting process. This prevents warping while achieving homogeneous material properties. In addition, RainTec leads to a significantly improved surface quality of components. Users benefit from a wide range of applications for their manufacturing parameters – regardless of the component size.

The RainTec Strategy

Advantages of electron beam technology

The system operates under vacuum in an inert atmosphere. This minimizes component contamination with oxygen, which, for example, leads to cleaner workpieces and therefore to improved product properties. Due to the electron beam technology developed by pro-beam with an acceleration voltage of up to 150 kilovolts, the electrostatic charge of the powder bed is lower, which leads to higher process stability. At the same time, the powder is heated isochorically through the electron beam process. This also has a positive effect on the quality of both the process and the component.

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Tess Boissonneault

Tess Boissonneault is a Montreal-based content writer and editor with five years of experience covering the additive manufacturing world. She has a particular interest in amplifying the voices of women working within the industry and is an avid follower of the ever-evolving AM sector. Tess holds a master's degree in Media Studies from the University of Amsterdam.

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