As part of a collaboration with Renishaw, Hydraulic Solutions company Domin has 3D printed a high- performance servo valve. Thesolution would also represent company’s first step towards drastically reducing CO2 emissions from the fluid power industry.
Whilst recent decades have seen swathes of technology introduced across all industries, Domin believes that there has not yet been a single innovation that has caused significant enough change in the fluid power market.
For the UK-based company, metal additive manufacturing (AM) was the missing piece of the puzzle, and helps address this sustainability issue while keeping production requirements as a priority.
By using the Renishaw RenAM 500Q, a four-laser AM system, which is designed for serial production applications, Domin was able to increase its productivity, achieve design freedom and reduce cost per part in such a way that 3D printing presented a compelling case for use in hydraulic manufacturing.
“There is a pressing reason disruption is needed — sustainability. In the US, the fluid power sector alone wastes about 300 million tonnes of CO2 per year through system inefficiencies,” explained Marcus Pont, Chief Executive Officer of Domin. “To put this into context, this is about the same as the total output for all CO2 emissions in the UK. More efficient technology could make a real difference to global emissions.”
“Britain is home to some of the world’s leading engineering businesses,” he added, “However, most of the UK’s big engineering businesses were started in the 20th Century. It’s time for British business to become more ambitious. Combining metal additive manufacturing with other technologies revolutionises what can be achieved technically — it could generate real value for British industry.”
Domin’s electrohydraulic valves are designed for the most demanding servo applications and are marketed as small, light, affordable and high-performance products that are easy to configure online, offering good power density and dynamic performance. Pont sees this product range as just the first step in creating change in fluid power systems across the UK; “every valve saves over one tonne of CO2 per year compared with alternative products”.
In the long-run, Domin plans to start manufacturing and selling complete systems. It is already working on some high-profile projects, which Pont says includes one to develop a new suspension system with Aston Martin Lagonda.
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