Sandvik has opened a new research and development center for AM in Sandviken, Sweden to create exciting new products and methods as well as new business opportunities.
In the new laboratory, a strong team of researchers, designers and technicians will explore new possibilities for existing products as well as future products and production methods, with the help of several different kinds of machinery for multiple additive processes and methods.
One industry that has already experienced the advantages of AM is aerospace, where there is a huge demand for lightweight framework structures. A weight reduction of one kilo of an airplane saves 3,000 USD in fuel a year. AM has also achieved major scientific achievements with the custom-made parts for implants.
“With our expertise and knowledge in metallurgy, in combination with our advanced portfolio of metal powders, we will certainly be in the forefront,” says Mikael Schuisky, Operations Manager for the new AM Center.
However, it is too early to tell where the investment in additive manufacturing will take Sandvik. According to Schuisky, the team will see what products and designs fit these specific manufacturing techniques, and which ones are better suited for current production methods.
One project at the center is the ongoing work with a tool holder for the metal cutting industry, one of many promising projects in the pipeline. Spare parts produced on-site for customers is another vision that has become a reality. Offshore industries, such as oil platforms, cannot carry a huge stock of spare parts. But with a 3D printer, this could be quickly fixed, saving time when a part needs to be replaced.