Siemens’ Additive Manufacturing Technology Benefits from Close Partnerships with Machine Builders

By David Humphrey

Company and Product News

Once considered a niche technology, additive manufacturing (AM) is now a strategically important mainstream technology for a growing field of industries.  At Siemens Digital Industries (Siemens DI), the business unit Motion Control (MC) and Software (formerly Siemens PLM Software) have teamed up to offer a professional AM package from design and simulation with Siemens NX software over machining with the Sinumerik 840, including collision avoidance up to postprocessing data evaluation with Siemens Mindsphere.  In a recent webcast with partners ExOne and DMG-Mori, Siemens DI introduced its strategy to bring additive manufacturing to a new level of productivity.

Key takeaways:

  • Siemens DI is committed to additive manufacturing (AM) and delivers cutting-edge AM automation technology with end-to-end AM software.
  • Partnerships with machine builders and end users are key to industrializing AM.
  • Siemens’ Additive Manufacturing Experience Center (AMEC) in Germany is key to the success of company’s AM strategy.  
  • Siemens is closely monitoring and adapting to manufacturing technology changes and machinery innovation trends.
additive manufacturing

Customers Improve Productivity with AM Software

In addition to automation and drives hardware, the enabler of a successful production solution is the software, which starts with the product design phase.  Siemens highlighted three cases in which customers increased productivity using Siemens’ AM software, including NX.  

  • Piper Aircraft switched from external sourcing of production tools to its own production using 3D printers, saving time and money producing hundreds of tools per year.
  • With its own AM campus, BMW optimized the production of 100k custom parts per year that are required for the personalization of cars.
  • Toolcraft, a supplier of precision parts, tools and injection molds, used Siemens NX to design lighter molds and reduced production time by 30 percent using conformal cooling.


AM Experience Center (AMEC) Brings Together Partners, Customers and End Users

The AMEC is the glue between Siemens DI MC and its partners, customers and end users.  The center serves as the “glue” between innovation, training, testing of new functions and gaining valuable experience.  New functions and prototype set-ups can be tested in the center without the need to use a machine at a user site.

Partnerships with Key Customers

DMG MORI offers innovative manufacturing technologies and worldwide service for additive manufacturing. The company’s portfolio includes four complete process chains for additive processes using powder nozzle or powder bed technologies.  Additive manufacturing technologies are combined with conventional CNC machines to offer fully integrated process chains.  According to the company, entire components are designed with Siemens NX with CNC code generation and simulation. Machining is performed with Sinumerik 840 CNC that uses Siemens NX for collision avoidance.  AM Evaluator is a post processing tool that visualizes process data as a digital 3D model, including part reports also for quality control.

ExOne is a global supplier of industrial 3D printing systems using sand, metal, ceramics and composites.  The company expects the market for binder jetting technology to grow from 10 percent of the 3D market in 2018 to about 33 percent by 2021.  A key aspect is to transform component manufacturing with 3D printing from a time-consuming process for individual repair parts or prototypes to an industrial manufacturing process with high throughput for serial production.  Using multiple printing heads is one feature to achieve higher throughput.  According to ExOne, key benefits of the partnership with Siemens are shorter innovation cycles, quality and performance improvements, minimized downtimes, industrial safety and security, monitoring and transparency, and training benefits.



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