The additive manufacturing industry has seen rapid advancements in recent years. However, there remain challenges in efficiency, scalability, and cost-effectiveness, which hinder its full potential.
VoxelMatters has teamed up with AM-Flow, a company focused on automating the entire AM process, to produce an eBook that provides a comprehensive overview of AM-Flow’s automation solutions that aim to address the inhibitors of large-scale AM adoption.
AM-Flow’s vision is centered on automating AM workflows. Where an AM service provider or internal AM facility in the early stages of automation might devote its resources to the automation of order intake, quoting and nesting, part identification and sorting, a fully developed AM enterprise can automate the complete workflow end-to-end, from pre-print to production, and all post print workflow steps, part identification and sorting, routing, transport, bagging and labeling, post-processing tracking & tracing, quality assessment, and order packaging.
The eBook outlines AM-Flow’s five stages of automation – helping readers identify these stages and where they currently stand in terms of AM automation adoption. Automation is introduced gradually and painlessly, allowing businesses to grow without interrupting their workflow. At each stage of evolution, businesses can identify bottlenecks and suitable areas of automation attainable within their budget.
The fully evolved AM service provider, using automation at every stage of its workflow, can manage its large operation with potentially just a single human operator supervising production. Importantly, businesses do not have to significantly interrupt their workflow at any stage of their evolution to accommodate new automation solutions.
Automation is critical to the success of the AM industry for several reasons. As established in the eBook, by streamlining the process, companies can reduce inventory costs, increase productivity, minimize downtime, and boost overall throughput. Automation can also help address the challenges of repeatability, quality assessment, and manual labor costs in various phases of the workflow.
Those looking to better understand AM-Flow’s automation solutions, in person, and the company’s impact on the AM industry are encouraged to meet the team at this year’s Rapid+TCT, in Chicago, on 2-4 May, at booth #5018 – where they will demonstrate the world’s first AM In-Line Quality Control solution.