Manufacturing Today - May/June 2017 - 38
manufacturing to produce lighter
but stronger components.
Strength is critical for aerospace
companies. A company such as Avio
Aero must produce parts that can
withstand extreme load and fatigue.
Here too, EBM demonstrates its advantage. An aerospace manufacturer
may rely on laser system to produce
static parts, but moving parts under
heavy load must be made to handle
heavy stress. EBM makes that possible through additive manufacturing.
"We're allowing someone like GE Avio
to produce a part they can't do normally that makes their aircraft more
efficient," Bradshaw says. "Without
our technology, the future of a Boeing
777 with some of the GE engines simply wouldn't fly."
It's the end-user who gains the most
from additive manufacturing. Just as
lighter engines reduce fuel consumption, smaller and lighter medical implants help surgeons perform better
in the operating room and allow patients to recover more quickly. "It's a
waterfall effect not only for our customers to be more efficient and get
better production, but their customers and their customers' customers
benefit," Bradshaw says.
Arcam drives innovation in 3-D printing by regularly introducing new
products and new capabilities designed to increase production speed
and improve quality. In 2016, the company introduced its newest products,
the Q10plus and Q20plus, which offer
up to 25 percent more productivity
with a significantly improved surface
finish and precision compared to previous machines.
The Q10plus is geared toward orthopedic implants while the Q20plus
was designed with aerospace compo38
manufacturing-today.com MAY/JUNE 2017
the q10plus offers more
productivity and improved
surface finish compared to
nents in mind. Both machines feature
the latest Arcam technology, including xQam, a built-in X-ray detection
system that acts similarly to a scanning electron microscope to enable
high-precision auto calibration and
ensure consistency from part to part.
Bradshaw says xQam was developed
to work with future applications such
as in-situation monitoring and real-time quality inspections that could
identify flaws during production.
Each new product offers exciting
new technologies, but not every customer requires the latest machine
and capabilities. Arcam meets with
manufacturers to ensure the machine
they are buying fits their production
requirements. "We're hand-in-hand
with these customers," Bradshaw
says. "We work with them to make
sure their net structure they use, the
characteristics of the powder they
are going with, are well understood
so they can make better products for
themselves and their customers."
Arcam has expanded its capabilities
through acquisitions that support its
products. In 2014, the company purchased Advanced Powders & Coatings (AP&C), a longtime titanium
powder supplier based in Quebec.
The buyout gave Arcam more access
to specialized powders at a lower cost,
but equally important, gave Arcam a
product that is used by the entire additive manufacturing market including laser machines.
An OEM such as an aircraft manufacturer, for example, may want to