The Digital Manufacturing Centre
(DMC), created by leading engineering company, KW Special Projects
, has announced its first metal powder bed fusion additive manufacturing (AM) machine purchase of two RenAM 500Qs supplied by Gloucestershire-based Renishaw
Both the organisations will work together to increase quality and efficiencies in additive manufacturing (AM) and share learnings within metal AM.
A key step towards the DMC's 2,000m2
production facility opening early next year, as well as a statement of intent, the Renishaw RenAM 500Q machines have been chosen by the DMC due to their cutting-edge capabilities within metal AM, increased productivity and quality control, as well as Renishaw's proven capabilities in additive manufacturing.
Renishaw's development collaboration will see the DMC's engineering team provide critical feedback, development and learning of the machines and their outputs, to ensure maximum efficiencies and increase innovation within metal AM. The DMC will also provide a range of new commercial applications for Renishaw’s technologies.
DMC CEO Kieron Salter said: “The process of machine and material selection for the DMC is crucial to our success and therefore a decision process we haven't taken lightly. Offering the service of being a technology partner to our clients means that we have to be armed with ‘state of the art’, innovative AM methods and machinery, and learnings within that to ensure we are constantly offering the best technologies.”
“The decision to forge a close collaboration with Renishaw and purchase two RenAM 500Q machines was a natural step to offer our clients all of these things, while benefitting from the support of a local manufacturing supplier. High torsional strength
“Renishaw is a leader in metal AM, its RenAM 500Q machine offers unrivalled productivity, quality control and ability to create a light component but with high torsional strength – one of the key benefits of metal AM innovations – as well as reduced costs per part.
“Not only this but our close collaboration will mean the DMC's engineers will be in close contact to Renishaw's team to ensure maximum efficiencies and learnings within AM, so we are constantly learning, evolving and innovating.”
The RenAM 500Q's core capabilities and specifications are due to its large build volume, increased number of lasers, as well as an innovative gas flow system within the chamber.
The Renishaw machines that the DMC has purchased offer a larger than normal metal AM build volume (250 x 250 x 350mm) and class-leading four high-power 500W lasers that can access the entire powder bed surface simultaneously. This provides a four-times higher build rate compared to single-laser systems, which means faster builds and reduced costs per part.
The RenAM 500Q machines are also fitted with an intelligent gas flow system that removes process emissions from the build volume, resulting in processing conditions that provide a stable processing environment that has measurably driven up quality standards to levels not previously achieved with metal AM technologies.
This means that the final parts exhibit consistent properties — they are high in density and have high tensile strength with excellent ductility and fatigue performance and the DMC can offer an end product that's both strong and light at the same time. Therefore, the Renishaw RenAM 500Q could be applied to a wide range of applications, ranging from racing cars to dentistry.Sector agnostic
Based at Silverstone Park at the heart of the Silverstone Technology Cluster, the DMC is focused on bringing metal and polymer AM production solutions to a range of industries. Described as being sector agnostic, the DMC's core focus and offering will be to companies within automotive, aerospace, defence, industrial, medical and space, both in small- and large-scale projects.
Andy Robinson, Renishaw's director of AM, said: “Providing our RenAM 500Q to the DMC, and being the first metal AM machine supplier announced, is an exciting moment for our AM team.
“Being an established global AM machine supplier, we are delighted that the DMC has chosen Renishaw to collaborate with, as well as sharing critical learnings to continue innovating and developing the potential for AM.”
“We are looking forward to seeing what the DMC and its clients can create and efficiencies the RenAM 500Q system can bring, both from the DMC's physical opening next year and in the future.”