HP launches high volume 3D metal parts printer

by Autocar Pro News Desk , 10 Sep 2018


American printer major HP, launched HP Metal Jet, which it claims is the world’s most advanced 3D printing technology for high volume manufacturing of production-grade metal parts at the 2018 International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS) held in Chicago, USA.

The company claims the new printer provides up to 50 times more productivity at a significantly lower cost, than other 3D printing methods. The HP Metal Jet is being deployed by manufacturing leaders GKN Powder Metallurgy and Parmatech for the factory production of final parts. HP says among the other customers who are placing orders include global stalwarts Volkswagen and Wilo and innovative vertical market leaders such as Primo Medical Group and OKAY Industries.

As part of its mission to transform the way the world designs and manufactures, HP today also launched the Metal Jet Production Service, which it says will enable customers around the world to rapidly iterate new 3D part designs, produce final parts in volume, and integrate HP Metal Jet into their long-term production roadmaps. 

“We are in the midst of a digital industrial revolution that is transforming the $12 trillion (Rs 75,804,000 crore) manufacturing industry. HP has helped lead this transformation by pioneering the 3D mass production of plastic parts and we are now doubling down with HP Metal Jet, a breakthrough metals 3D printing technology,” said Dion Weisler, CEO and President, HP Inc. “The implications are huge – the auto, industrial, and medical sectors alone produce billions of metal parts each year.  HP’s new Metal Jet 3D printing platform unlocks the speed, quality, and economics to enable our customers to completely rethink the way they design, manufacture, and deliver new solutions in the digital age.”

The company says HP Metal Jet is a groundbreaking, voxel-level binder jetting technology. With a bed size of 430 x 320 x 200mm, 4x the nozzle redundancy and 2x the printbars, and significantly less binder by weight, HP Metal Jet delivers greater productivity and reliability at a low acquisition and operational cost compared to other metals 3D printing solutions. HP Metal Jet will start with stainless steel finished parts, delivering isotropic properties that meet or exceed ASTM and MPIF standards.

Collaboration with GKN Powder Metallurgy
In an industry-first collaboration, HP is partnering with GKN Powder Metallurgy to deploy HP Metal Jet in their factories to produce functional metal parts for auto and industrial companies including Volkswagen and Wilo. GKN Powder Metallurgy is the world’s leading producer of materials and products using powder metallurgy technologies and includes the brands of GKN Sinter Metals, GKN Hoeganaes, and GKN Additive Manufacturing. The company produces more than three billion components per year and expects to print millions of production-grade HP Metal Jet parts for its customers across industries as early as next year.

“We’re at the tipping point of an exciting new era from which there will be no return: the future of mass production with 3D printing. HP’s new Metal Jet technology enables us to expand our business by taking on new opportunities that were previously cost prohibitive,” said Peter Oberparleiter, CEO of GKN Powder Metallurgy. “Our DNA and our expertise in powder production and metal part processing using digitally networked systems will enable us to drive industrialisation across the whole additive manufacturing value stream. By combining the forces of HP and GKN Powder Metallurgy, we will push the productivity and capability of our customers to unprecedented levels based on the economic and technical advantages of HP Metal Jet technology.”

German auto major Volkswagen, is integrating HP Metal Jet into its long-term design and production roadmap. The collaboration between Volkswagen, GKN Powder Metallurgy and HP has resulted in the ability to move quickly to assess the manufacturing of mass-customisable parts such as individualised key rings and exterior-mounted name plates.

Volkswagen‘s multi-year plan to use HP Metal Jet also includes the production of higher performance functional parts with significant structural requirements, such as gearshift knobs and mirror mounts. As new platforms such as electric vehicles enter mass production, HP Metal Jet is expected to be leveraged for additional applications such as the lightweighting of fully safety-certified metal parts.

“The auto industry is being revolutionised – not only do customers now expect personalisation, but by 2025 the brands of Volkswagen Group will have introduced 80 new electric models,“ said Dr Martin Goede, head of technology planning and development, Volkswagen. “A single car consists of 6,000 to 8,000 different parts. A big advantage of an additive technology like HP Metal Jet is it allows us to produce many of these parts without first having to build manufacturing tools. By reducing the cycle time for the production of parts, we can realise a higher volume of mass production very quickly.  That’s why HP’s new Metal Jet platform is a huge leap forward for the industry, and we look forward to raising the bar on what is possible to deliver more value and innovation for our customers.“

GKN Powder Metallurgy is also leveraging HP Metal Jet technology to produce cost-effective industrial parts with higher hydraulic efficiency for Wilo, a global leader for pumps and pump system solutions. Wilo is looking to HP Metal Jet technology to produce initial hydraulic parts such as impellers, diffusors, and pump housings with widely variable dimensions that must withstand intense suction, pressure, and temperature fluctuations.

In first half of 2019, customers will be able to upload 3D design files and receive industrial-grade parts in large quantities from the new Metal Jet Production Service. The parts will be produced by HP partners GKN Powder Metallurgy and Parmatech to ensure the highest standards of engineering and production quality.


 

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