Volkswagen announced plans to use metal binder jet 3D printing technology in vehicle production in partnership with HP and Siemens.
The auto giant has set a goal of producing 100,000 additively manufactured components at its Wolfsburg plant each year by 2025. It follows the company’s work with GKN to explore the potential of the HP’s Metal Jet technology, which is expected to be released this year.
Aligning with Siemens and extending its existing partnership with HP, Volkswagen is investigating how additive manufacturing can support the digital transformation of its production operations, by identifying which vehicle components can be produced quickly and economically with jet technology from metal binder. The three companies will form a joint team of experts at Volkswagen’s Wolfsburg 3D printing center, which opened in 2018, and hope to print hundreds of thousands of parts per year within a few years. With HP’s Metal Jet technology, Volkswagen said it was able to produce components that weigh half the weight of those made from sheet steel, while Siemens’ software capabilities will be used to effectively nest the parts in the chamber. of construction, which will ‘produce twice as many parts per print session.’
Volkswagen has been using 3D printing technology for 25 years, primarily for the prototyping of plastic components like center consoles, door linings, dashboards and bumpers. In general, he has judged that producing large volumes of end-use components is not profitable enough, but he believes that the technology at the heart of this collaboration will now make the use of 3D printing economically viable on the production line. Already, the metal binder jet process has been used to produce components for the A-pillar of the T-Roc convertible, which weigh nearly 50% of their conventionally manufactured counterparts and are currently in the process of certification. As work with HP and Siemens continues, Volkswagen expects there will be many more printed production parts to come.
“Despite the current challenges of the coronavirus pandemic, we continue to work on innovation,” commented Christian Vollmer, member of the Volkswagen brand management board responsible for production and logistics. “Together with our partners, we aim to make 3D printing even more efficient in the years to come and suitable for use in production lines. “
“We are very proud to support Volkswagen with our innovative 3D printing solutions,” said Cedrik Neike, board member of Siemens AG and CEO of Digital Industries. “Our automation and software solutions are at the forefront of industrial production applications. With this technology, Volkswagen will be able to develop and produce components faster, more flexibly and using fewer resources.
“A digital transformation in the automotive industry is underway and Volkswagen is leading the way with strategic vision and bold action,” added Ramon Pastor, global manager and general manager of 3D Metals, HP Inc. “We are committed to delivering the capabilities our customers need. to accelerate the design and production of high quality final parts with disruptive economy. With Volkswagen and partners like Siemens, we are building the factories of the future. “
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