Thu, 18 November, 2021
TWI has joined a consortium led by Authentise to develop new digital tools to extend in-process control from material production to delivery.
The project has been awarded a grant by the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF) for the development and validation of scalable digital tools to identify, create, and enforce rules that reduce direct and indirect energy consumption and increase material efficiency in ceramic and metal additive manufacturing (AM).
TWI are joined by fellow project partners, Authentise, leaders in data-driven workflow tools for additive manufacturing; Photocentric, innovator and manufacturer of photopolymers and LCD based 3D Printers; ICD, provider of metal powders and powder metal components; and the Materials Processing Institute, providing research and innovation services for the foundation industries.
The project, Scalable AM Rule Creation and Dissemination (SAMRCD) project has gained £1.7 million in funding, with Authentise leading to develop tools that enable users to identify operating rules through literature, standards, experiments, and deep learning, and enforce these rules on future production to ensure more efficient and repeatable products.
To achieve this, the partners will integrate direct data capture from across the materials and production value chain, with TWI and Photocentric testing the tools in metal and ceramic AM studies with the aim of reducing energy and material use in production. The material and related production data will be supplied by ICD and results will be validated by the Materials Processing Institute.
TWI’s Laser Additive Manufacturing Section Manager, Carl Hauser said, “This is the first time that the impacts of actions are considered across the entire value chain, from material production to final part. The SAMRCD team includes partners from across that spectrum. Together, we are able to increase the scope of in process control from very specific in-machine processes to end-to-end monitoring. Changing material production parameters slightly may have a material impact on part production success, for instance. Thanks to SAMRCD we won’t only know that but will be able to take direct action.”
Andre Wegner, CEO of Authentise explained, “Continuing studies and analysis will only achieve so much. Digital tools that can monitor, analyse, predict and alert a range of impact and deviations in standard operating procedures are fundamental to improve manufacturing processes, increase repeatability and reduce resource intensity of the process. Additive manufacturing rightfully has a reputation as a clean technology, but there is so much more to be done.”
Photcentric CEO Paul Holt revealed, “We’re delighted to have been selected for this highly competitive programme by the ISCF. The launch of SAMRCD could not come at a more poignant time given the current headwinds facing foundation and manufacturing industries with energy costs soaring and cost of materials increasing as supply chains compete for key metals.”
The SAMRCD project has received funding from Innovate UK under No 10002048