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Siemens and EDAG cooperate in projects for industrial additive manufacturing

Siemens has intensified its cooperation with the EDAG Group in order to further promote industrial applications of additive manufacturing and to make engineering and production processes more efficient.

Based on many years of successful project-specific collaboration in factory and production planning, in the field of engineering, the innovative “NextGenerationSpaceframe 2.0” project was presented at the Hannover Messe 2019 at the Siemens booth as the clear result of this successful cooperation.

The “NextGenerationSpaceframe 2.0” intelligent modular system features a combination of biconically designed and additive manufactured nodes and high-strength, energy-absorbing aluminium extrusion profiles. The concept offers extremely flexible manufacturing, enabling it to support the growing number of vehicle derivatives while still taking economic aspects into account.

The collaboration has now been extended by a seamless digital engineering process chain for AM resulting in the implementation of a use case. The project result, which was presented at Hannover Messe 2019, was led by EDAG and Siemens together with Constellium, Fraunhofer IAPT, Concept Laser and BLM. It shows a flexibly manufactured lightweight aluminium structure - “NextGenSpaceframe 2.0” as an automotive use case for Siemens.

Key features of NextGenSpaceframe 2.0 are the shorter “time-to-market” for additive manufactured prototypes and small series components for automotive or industrial applications due to a digital engineering process chain; the combination of 3D-printed aluminium car body nodes with high-strength, energy-absorbing aluminium extrusion profiles combined as highly flexible “on-demand” manufacturing with 3D bending and jigless joining technology for automotive and industrial applications.

Calculations and actual tests demonstrated that the crash areas can absorb the crash energy as predicted and the AM node did not fail structurally, and the costs for AM could be reduced by optimising the process and minimising the support structure.

The seamless engineering data process chain has contributed to significantly shorter development and lead times, as well as ensuring a higher level of development maturity.

The know-how provided by the EDAG Group in the field of production processes made a significant contribution to the collaboration. Tailored future factory concepts have been created, enabling the components developed for additive manufacturing to also be produced efficiently in larger batches and transferred to actual series production. An important factor in the success of the project is the competence that Siemens brings for factory automation and digitalisation with knowledge from their own manufacturing applications for gas turbines (Finspang and Worchester UK) as well as the know-how provided by EOS GmbH in the field of process technology of additive manufacturing.

In Hanover, Siemens presented the first steps in the process for successfully implementing this transformation using a digital twin. As well as the actual printing, this includes the industrialisation of the entire AM production chain with all subsequent process steps. In future, scalable modules will be created to pave the way from small series through to mass production.

Siemens and EDAG share the goal of building on their respective strengths as project-specific partners and positioning themselves as service provides in the future market for the industrial introduction of additive manufacturing for their respective customers.