Following a collaboration with Flinders University and BAE Systems Maritime Australia in large-scale metal Additive Manufacturing (AM), AML3D Limited’s next step will be to establish a Research and Development (R&D) facility at the state-of-the-art ‘Factory of the Future’. This facility will be located at the Tonsley Innovation District in Adelaide.
For those who are not familiar with these companies, note that AML3D is the Australia-based manufacturer of WAAM machines. The company debuted on ASX following $9 Million IPO last year showing this way, the potential of its AM technology. The company incorporates robotics, welding science, metallurgy, IIOT and software, to produce automated wire-fed 3D printing in a large freeform environment.
A few examples of what AML3D’s technology can do, have been shared in an exclusive dossier dedicated to WAAM technology. (May/June Issue of 3D ADEPT Mag)
BAE Systems on the other hand, is a British multinational arms, security, and aerospace company. The company is the largest defence contractor in Europe and among the world’s largest defence companies; it was ranked as the third-largest based on applicable 2017 revenues. The company has been using AM technologies for several years now. It has mainly communicated about its use of Renishaw’s metal AM technology, and Stratasys industrial FDM 3D printing.
The establishment of a factory is a very important step for the growth of AM within Australia and for BAE systems across the world. Indeed, the company has established a factory of the future at its UK-based site last year, with the goal of demonstrating a new approach to the way humans and machines can operate together.
Although this might be construed as a way to streamline the company’s activities across the world, it should be noted that an AML Arcemy® unit from the Australian expert in Wire Additive Manufacturing (WAM®) will be installed at the pilot factory in order to support the R&D developments of the company and its partners. This unit will be the starting point of any future R&D activities that will be performed at Tonsley.
According to AML3D Managing Director, Andrew Sales, “the trials and research projects to be undertaken at the facility in conjunction with BAE Systems Maritime Australia and Flinders University will enable AML3D to further develop its large-scale metal Additive Manufacturing capability through added features such as in process measurement, monitoring and adjustment that will improve quality.”
“The establishment of a permanent Line Zero facility will support the development of new manufacturing techniques and technologies within a factory-like environment that will ultimately be adapted to the state-of-the-art digital shipyard at Osborne, and beyond,” Sharon Wilson, Continuous Naval Shipbuilding Strategy Director at BAE Systems Maritime Australia states.
As for the Flinders University, it will play a key role in providing access to relevant testing and validation equipment during the project. Its students will be able to participate in the design and delivery of metal AM research projects and operation of the Arcemy® unit, together with development and introduction of metal AM curriculum and training modules relevant to the Factory of the Future and digital shipbuilding requirements.
“The AM R&D facility is a shining example of the capacity for collaboration in advanced manufacturing at The Factory Of the Future pilot site, which will enable joint research into and enhanced uptake of technologies and processes, so we can leverage the potential benefits for shipbuilding and advanced manufacturing in Australia,” Professor Spoehr, Flinders University’s Pro-Vice Chancellor Research Impact, said.
This collaboration will start by a research project and evaluation program on AML3D’s large metal AM process. The project will involve trials of alternative source materials and the application of WAM® in a scale production environment. It will also enable the main participants to acquire more knowledge and skills in WAM® while establishing a relevant training curriculum. Last but not least, awareness raising activities within the potential shipbuilding supply chain on WAM® as a large-scale metal additive
manufacturing technology will also be part of the project.
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