• 08. – 10. Oktober 2024
  • Messegelände Düsseldorf

ALUMINIUM Speakers Corner Additive & Digital Manufacturing 2022

 - On Demand -

Speakers Corner Additive & Digital Manufacturing

Welche Möglichkeiten bieten die additive und digitale Fertigung? Welche neuen Technologien stehen in den Startlöchern, und welche tauchen bereits am Horizont auf? Diese und weitere Fragen wurden auf der Speakers Corner des „Innovation Plaza Additive & Digital Manufacturing“ in Halle 5 diskutiert. Geleitet wurde diese besondere Speakers Corner durch zwei hervorragende Know-how-Träger: Das Aachen Center for Additive Manufacturing (ACAM) auf dem Campus der RWTH Aachen, als eines der wichtigsten Forschungs- und Entwicklungszentren für additive Fertigung und Quartz Business Media, das britische Fachmedienhaus, das unter anderem die „Aluminium International Today“ herausgibt.

1. Tag - 27. September 2022

The layer-wise characteristic of Additive Manufacturing enables the production of geometrically complex parts that were not feasible to realize using other well established manufacturing techniques. This new freedom of design can be used to create novel functionally advanced parts that combine elaborate lightweight structures and a high degree of function integration resulting in designs consisting of less individual parts facilitating the subsequent assembly process. Since such designs are hardly feasible to realize using conventional CAD-programs, algorithmic design can help to fully exploit the possibilities of AM without neglecting the design restrictions that still exist.

Additive Manufacturing (AM) brings new opportunities for producing complex structures, which cannot be produced with conventional methods. There are only a handful of alloys, which are designed for AM. The high cooling rates and complex heating cycles of AM methods result in cracks and other defects. A possible solution is rapid alloy development (RAD). The approach consists of computational alloy screening, rapid testing using Extreme High Speed Laser Material Deposition (EHLA) and using pre-alloyed powders for final alloy characterization. This process will allow a fast development of custom alloys for AM.

Sheet metal forming is an economical production process at high volumes, but can be very costly for the production of prototypes and small series, mainly due to high tool investments. Polymer based additive tooling promises significant advantages in reducing manufacturing time and cost for the production of forming tools used for prototypes or small series. This work presents the current advancements in additive tooling for sheet metal forming and demonstrates how to successfully apply this tooling technology for prototypes and small series.

The construction and operation of buildings are considered as the biggest influencing factors contributing to the world’s global energy consumption. Therefore, the construction industry is a key industry to efficiently reduce the global energy demand for a more sustainable future. Representing the interface between the interior and the exterior of a building, the façade as a thermal barrier is one of the most influencing factors to the building’s energy balance. Using additive manufacturing, advanced lightweight connection elements for façades can be manufactured, potentially combining reduced thermal bridges, material savings and improved assembly/disassembly enabling an efficient re-use of the parts.

How can digital manufacturing contribute to an optimal way of working. In an industrial environment goals are infinite and it is not always clear what the optimal way of working is. Quantillion will explain how collaborative and dynamic intelligence can contribute to an optimised production environment where operators, machines and robots can work together. In an environment where tasks are endless we should focus on doing more with less and still keep the flexibility to adapt to changes quickly.

RBR Technology

Anode baking furnace construction, relining, and maintenance mainly involve partition fabrication and installation steps. This work is usually performed during atypical working hours to follow anode production cycles. It demands a wide array of expertise in refractory brick lining and numerous workers who must carry out repetitive movements throughout the process. These atypical working hours, the risk of injury, and labourer working conditions contribute to the scarcity of competent tradesmen required to carry out such work. Moreover, this type of work contains numerous occupational health and safety risks, including musculoskeletal injuries, heat strokes, fatigue, etc.

Réfraco has undertaken the development of a robotic cell capable of achieving part of this work and strives to automate the process end-to-end, from anode backing furnace maintenance to large-scale relining and/or construction, including the replacement of fluewalls and general maintenance work, such as sealing works.

RBR Technology is a bricklaying robotic system enabling anode baking furnace fluewalls to be automatically fabricated.

• Optimal bricks positioning.

• Brick defect characterization.

• Capability to fabricate half-size, third-size, or complete internal or external fluewalls.

• Fabrication by a single operator in less than 24 hours.

• Patents pending.



RBR technology, Réfraco’s Bricklaying Robot, originates from a team of passionate individuals who relentlessly support Réfraco’s technological development initiatives. Robexco stems from the innovation driven minds of this team of experts. This newly established spinoff is christened Robexco. Robexco acts as an integrator. It not only provides expert guidance when choosing and integrating process technologies, focussed on robotics and integrated data management systems, but also helps at the organizational level by improving processes and achieving sound change management.

Aluminium producers deal with repetitive and demanding furnace tending tasks. Furnace tending is one of the activities in the casthouse which most depends on operators. Due to the large dimensions of melting and holding furnaces, tending equipment is also large. Robotics integration is limited, because standard robots are designed for high speeds with small payloads while here slow speeds at large payloads are required. Dynamic Concept and EPIQ Machinery pooled their expertise to co-create a new equipment: an Automated Robotic Furnace Tending (ARFT). This innovative, energy-efficient robot will automate furnace skimming, stirring, and cleaning. Through its geometry and its ability to produce different movement programmed patterns, ARFT will improve the quality of furnace tending.

2. Tag - 28. September 2022

For many thermally and mechanically highly loaded components, such as cylinder heads, cooling and thermal management are key factors for function and durability. Ideal cooling systems have complex internal structures that cannot be produced economically using conventional manufacturing methods. Higher design freedom provided by additive manufacturing offers a high potential to create cooling structures that are close to the optimum. This study investigates how additively manufactured cooling structures can improve the function and durability of thermally and mechanically highly loaded components and how they can be methodically integrated into the design using the example of a 1.5 L I3 gasoline turbo engine cylinder head.

LPBF has become an important industrial manufacturing process, which is widely used across different industries. Nevertheless, one of its major disadvantages is the size limitation of the build chamber. One approach for solving this issue is the upscaling of the machines, which is limited by several physical restrictions.

Another approach is the welding of multiple components. But especially for aluminum alloys, the welding of the components comes with several drawbacks, especially hydrogen porosity, which must be solved. This talk will showcase one solution for the welding of aluminum LPBF-components by using laser welding in vacuum.

The application of additively manufactured high strength aluminium base alloys is, among others limited due to either a lack in processability or economic feasibility with the alloys currently available. Within this work, the mechanical properties of different additively manufactured eutectic Al-Ni alloys at room and elevated temperatures are investigated for the first time.

Additive manufacturing using laser powder bed fusion (LPBF) brings new opportunities for aluminium, while traditional manufacturing will remain more competitive for high volume production. Drivers for the introduction of aluminium LPBF production parts include

  • replacing complex multi-component assemblies with a single part

  • producing high-performance geometries impossible to manufacture conventionally

  • avoiding tooling costs for low volume production

  • reducing lead times from months to days e.g. for prototypes or on-demand spare parts

All conventional aluminium alloy systems show significant limitations in use for L-PBF. Through collaborations in multiple industries, Constellium has developed rapid solidification aluminium alloys designed specifically for LPBF for better AM processing, post-processing and component properties. Sustainable raw materials are used to bring competitive, scalable solutions.

  • Aheadd ® HT1 (Al-Mn-Ni-Cu-Zr alloy system) targets structural applications with service temperatures beyond the capabilities of current aluminium solutions, saving weight over titanium or steel solutions

  • Aheadd ® CP1 (Al-Zr-Fe alloys system) brings multiple advantages over AlSi10Mg, F357 or 6061-based solutions. Aheadd ® CP1 delivers robust, isotropic properties, simplified post-processing and compatibility with multiple surface finishing processes. High LPBF productivity levels will broaden the range of cost-effective component designs to mainstream applications including on-demand spare parts in multiple industries and automotive functional prototypes.

Industrial metals such as aluminium are processed by means of melting, casting, rolling and different kinds of heat and surface treatment. In each step, countless sets of data are generated which are relevant for the quality and the properties of the semi-finished product (coils, strips, plates, profiles).

In further processing steps, single pieces of metal are usually cut from these semi-finished products. In this process step the data link between the single piece and the parent product is broken. The single piece usually does not carry any information about its material composition, the manufacturer, the position within the parent product or about its mechanical properties or quality relevant production parameters.

coilDNA, an Austrian start-up company based in Linz, has developed a revolutionary, patented technology that gives individual pieces of metal an identity. By making these metal products smart they may be connected to the Internet as well. So IoT - Internet of things - the concept of connecting smart devices to the internet now applies to coilDNA-enabled smart aluminium and thus IoM - Internet of Metals is taking shape.

The human DNA is an excellent role model for coilDNA. Every single cell of a human body can be used to identify the individual. DNA sequencing allows to reconstruct the entire DNA information obtained from only a single DNA molecule. The coilDNA technology uses comparable algorithms. A unique coilDNA information code gets continuously printed on the surface of a parent product e.g. a coil, a tube or a profile by laser or inkjet. This code uniquely identifies the position within the parent product and subsequently allows the assignment of the production data recorded at this position. Regardless of how this parent product is cut in subsequent production steps, the item-related and even the position-related information is always kept available. With only 14 human readable characters of the coilDNA code all the information about the respective piece of metal can be retrieved.

coilDNA thus offers a key and platform to producers and processors of metals to exchange product related data in extra fine granularity. New ways for the optimization of production processes, supply chains and communication via useful Apps are opened. In detail:

• Efficient processing of metal parts by considering the local properties of the semi-finished product used

• Seamless tracking of products and their properties throughout the whole supply-chain from producer to processor

• Data driven communication with the producers using a simple picture of a product labeled with a coilDNA code taken for example by a cell phone. The coilDNA CHAT App allows to identify the product and to give direct feedback to the producer.

• Check of validity of product-related paper documents using the coilDNA CHECK App

• The coilDNA technology therefore makes products and the associated information forgery-proof

coilDNA supplies the unique product code, data services and application support. Industrial partners in the field of:

• manufacturing execution systems for the integration of the coilDNA technology into MES systems,

• industrial printing and high-speed inline character recognition as well as

• blockchain technologies

are available to complete the technological package.

Different stakeholders require different views on the process. The acquisition of high-resolution raw data is the key to meeting all requirements such as trouble shooting, condition monitoring, real-time vibration monitoring, quality control, process optimization, anomaly detection, and much more. Working on raw data rather than aggregated data achieves maximum flexibility when evaluating the data and allows further process abstraction on different levels.

However, acquiring high-resolution raw data in complex systems such as aluminum rolling mills is a challenging task. Data must be synchronously acquired from different data sources to provide a holistic view of the process.

The goal of this method is to monitor and optimize it under various aspects by all stakeholders using process data (e.g. maintenance, quality, production and plant engineers as well as data scientists).

The demands on modern production facilities are enormous: they should be highly productive, flexible, cost-efficient and trouble-free, while maintaining the highest quality.

Manual and other conventional quality checks are usually unreliable, expensive, have a low detection rate and are difficult to scale. In his presentation, Tobias Halg explains how AI can meet all these requirements of today's I4.0 production facilities while maintaining low installation and operating costs with QA standards.

3. Tag - 29. September 2022

Sustainability and digitalization are two factors that are key in the coming years. Our generation has the responsibility to pass on an ecologically friendly environ-ment to the future generations. This makes sustainable production indispensable. But how about reaching business targets? Our business models aim for bigger, stronger, and smarter business growth. With digitalization, we can achieve both goals simultaneously; even without making compromises.

Digitalization offers massive potentials. Industrial Intelligent-based software solu-tion powered by a Service Platform (SP) optimizes your production plant using smart services that network like a team of agents. An SP enables a collaboration of local and global optimization tools. But it is not just the planning solutions that work together, the supply chain is equally optimized and becomes fully transparent, with additional flexibility.

Efficiency of the production plant is also a core of digitalization as our solution al-lows you to structure how best to produce, the ideal time to produce, the optimized yield and reduced material movements. The result is savings in cost across all levels – production costs, energy costs, material costs, handling costs and increased OEE.

Digitalization of the production plant has a direct impact on sustainability. We promote sustainability by even decreasing material usage and optimizing energy. Put simply, save your costs to save our environment.

Several sustainability use cases show that digital technologies such as interoperability business networks and digital twins, as well as the greater collection, sharing, and use of data - will be at the heart of a successful transition to a net zero society and to a more efficient and circular economy.

To overcome the global sustainability challenges, it is required that Data, Process, Sustainability, and Customer Experience aspects are considered holistically and not only from an enterprise perspective but from an Industry Business Network view.  SAP will give more insights into its innovation activities to enable a circular economy through Industry Network Collaboration.

Complete title: The underrated keys to reach your company's sustainability goals - a story about breaking down silos by combining digitalisation and sustainability.

Sustainability and digitalization are cruciaI for each other’s success. Three years ago, a community for sustainability evolved bottom-up at diconium, a digitaI transformation service partner. Today, over 2OO employees work inter-divisionally, flexible, and autonomousIy together with a strong partner network on different matters regarding sustainability, e.g., sustainable digitaI product development, diversity, and communication. Join our speaker Janina Tessarek for insights in community building, development of partner ecosystems and visibility to build a purpose-driven, future-proof organization that reaches their sustainability goals with the help of digitalization - and their clients.

Small and medium sized enterprises often face the question, how to start with additive manufacturing and which training and education courses are available. Their workforce needs to attend courses which cover specifically technologies, materials, as well applications that are relevant to their companies. In addition, the coronavirus pandemic emphasized the importance of remote and hybrid training to tackle the challenging future of work. But how could training and education for additive manufacturing take those factors into consideration? Is the maturity of augmented and virtual reality opening up new possibilities for hands-on training along the AM process chain?

Complete title: On the way to green production - How additive manufacturing can contribute to green production in the future and what challenges still need to be overcome

The consequences of climate change and the associated climate policy are increasingly challenging manufacturing companies to develop a sustainable business strategy. Therefore, more and more companies are focusing on a circular economy in their value chains. Additive manufacturing has a great potential to contribute to sustainable manufacturing processes due to the direct layer-by-layer construction to save material as well as delivery routes and optimize functionalities for long-term use due to the high geometric freedom in component design. The lecture will discuss and compare the potentials as well as the challenges of additive manufacturing for future CO2-neutral production.

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