No matter how powerful your Additive Manufacturing solutions are, standards remain the ultimate performance measurement tools that confirm your production processes and environments are uniquely positioned to ensure the quality of the end products delivered.
As far as production environments are concerned, TÜV SÜD has announced that it can now support AM companies in the deliverance of the new ISO/ASTM 52920 standard. As a reminder, the independent institute delivers a comprehensive portfolio of testing, certification, auditing and advisory services.
The standard describes quality-assurance requirements and forms part of the ISO/ASTM 52900 series, which is fundamental for this relatively new industry. It adopts an integrated instead of a product-specific approach, which is also suitable for regulated sectors, including the automotive, rail, aerospace and medtech industries.
Furthermore, it applies to all methods included in the scope of the ISO/ASTM 52900 standard and was developed in a collaboration between the ISO/TC 261 “Additive Manufacturing” and CEN/TC 438 “Additive Manufacturing Processes” Technical Committees of the French standardisation institute, Association française de normalisation (AFNOR). In Germany, the “Additive Manufacturing” working committee of the DIN Standards Committee Technology of Materials was involved in the development.
“Using the new standard, component manufacturers can streamline supplier audits to an enormous extent”, says Simon Schlagintweit, Lead Auditor Additive Manufacturing at TÜV SÜD. “This facilitates the auditing process and ensures the quality of industrial-scale additive manufacturing throughout the supply chain.” Even the tiniest deviations in feedstock or machine calibration may adversely affect component stability. Given this, ISO/ASTM 52920 defines both quality-related factors in the process chain and processes at manufacturing sites. ISO/ASTM 52920 is divided into three aspects: “Qualification of the additive system operations”, “Quality assurance” and “Verification of the part requirements”. Sub-aspects include data preparation, system setup and post-processing. Other essential clauses concern the continuous improvement process, part specifications and a validation plan.
In the meantime, classification company DNV raised our attention on the fact that the need for updating these standards reveals itself rather quickly. As a matter of fact, the standard the company released last year – entitled “DNVGL-ST-B203 Additive manufacturing of metallic parts” – has saw several areas for improvements that will benefit AM companies.
For the small history, this standard was designed for the energy and maritime industries – and improvements have been initiated as part of the second stage of the joint industry project that led to the standard in the first place – the ultimate goal being to extend the standard’s application, and improve it based on new learnings.
The improvements are related to four areas of interest: integration of new AM technologies such as directed energy deposition with laser (DED-LB), powder bed fusion with electron (PBF-EB) and metal binder jetting technology (BJT); enhanced user friendliness; non-destructive testing (NDT) and in-situ monitoring of AM parts as well as cost efficiency of qualifying parts.
Ole-Bjørn Ellingsen Moe, Senior AM project manager at DNV, recently shared key insights into each of these areas for improvements:
“1. In the first revision we focused on powder bed fusion with laser beam (PBF-LB) and directed energy deposition with arc (DED-Arc). The principles developed in that revision could also be applied for other technologies, but these technologies have some topics that need proper attention. That attention is brought in this new revision, where DED-LB, PBF-EB and metal BJT has been included. This opens for even more interesting use cases to come in the energy and maritime industries.
- The better the user friendliness of a standard, the easier it is to understand and thus follow the requirements. We have spent significant effort in improving the user friendliness, and the result is an entirely new structure, and can be seen in the image below. By creating a document with AM technology agnostic main body, and additional requirements in specific sub-chapters, we are leveraging that there are similarities between the technologies, while also highlighting the differences. We believe that this will provide good guidance to the readers and pave the way for new updates in the future.
- Applying conventional NDT is a challenge for wide adoption of AM. NDT methods we rely on for conventional manufacturing, such as ultrasonic- and radiographic testing, will have limitations for complicated AM parts, especially when we’re talking about parts with proper design for additive applied. Computed tomography (CT) is often used to deal with these challenges today, however, CT has also its own limitations. Rethinking how we do quality control is a big task, and many are already working hard to find solutions to these challenges. We aim to help them on their way, by providing guidance to the initial steps of qualifying a novel NDT- or monitoring techniques for AM. We hope this will push ourselves, end-users in the industry, and technology developers towards new and efficient ways of ensuring trust.
- There is a lot of focus on the business case for AM in the energy and maritime industries. If the AM part is significantly more expensive than the conventional counterpart, then why take the chance on this novel technology? We have tried to contribute to the business cases in making part qualifications more cost efficient. By leveraging experience, a manufacturer may have from building similar parts, the requirements for new, slightly adjusted parts may be reduced. This contributes to shorter lead time, less repetition of qualification work and a more predictable manufacturing and delivery cost.”
Further information about the next revision should be released in Q1 2022.
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