Oerlikon AM & Hirtenberger to evaluate a post-processing technology for additive manufacturing

In 2020, Oerlikon AM & Hirtenberger, will bring a jointly developed technology to the North American market. The partnership between the AM unit of global technology group Oerlikon and Hirtenberger aims to further industrialize series production and prototyped parts.

Announced during Formnext, the collaboration consists in the evaluation of the Hirtisation Process, a post-processing technology for additive manufacturing that allows 3D surface treatment, including the removal of support structures and automatization of the post-processing steps.  

The Hirtisation Process

The Hirtisation Process enables the production of parts with smoother surface textures as well as the fabrication of complex parts that require interior support structures during production. The big challenge in such a type of complex parts, is that they require the removal of structures after completion, without impacting the integrity of the part. Turbomachinery, oil and gas, automotive and general industry are a few examples of sectors that can benefit from this collaboration.

Oerlikon AM will therefore leverage the technology in those industries first so that customers can reduce part costs and achieve predicable and repeatable results.

In the same vein, to make it effective, the two partners have formed a joint working group that will explore the different ways the process can be integrated into the AM value chain.

Furthermore, Oerlikon AM and Hirtenberger Engineered Surfaces are working on applying the Hirtisation Process to the prototyping business, which is expected to improve productivity by eliminating extra finishing steps.

 “For Oerlikon AM, the Hirtisation Process addresses one of AM’s major challenges, which is to provide our customers with parts with more complex geometries – some of which are not possible nor economical with existing AM and post-processing technologies,” said Dr. Christian Haecker, Head of Oerlikon AM Industrialization. “The process fits perfectly in our desire to offer customers services and products along the entire value chain. We also see a benefit in increasing repeatability of defined AM surface quality.”

“We provide a crucial step in the process chain of 3D printing of metal parts,” said Dr. Wolfgang Hansal, Managing Director, Hirtenberger Engineered Surfaces. “We see ourselves as an industrial enabler of automated surface finishing. We maintain the full freedom of the printed parts design, while allowing cost efficient post-processing. Closing the interfaces along the production chain from post-processing back to construction, design and printing is key for the establishment of reliable additive manufacturing, from prototyping to large quantity serial production. For these reasons, Oerlikon AM is an important partner.”


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