Production tools are one of the applications where additive manufacturing truly shines. By optimizing the design of this suction gripper for 3D printing, Materialise reduced the manufacturing costs per gripper by half.
Employing robots to conduct equipment inspections is a longstanding focus for Shell – one with potentially huge safety and efficiency benefits. To avoid transporting its large and valuable robots to promotional events, Shell asked Materialise to create smaller models to serve as demonstrators. Through a bespoke combination of 3D Printing technologies, materials and finishing techniques, Materialise produced two precise replicas that look exactly like the original machines.
Italian engineering company QualiCal saw an opportunity for innovation in lime production, and asked — could 3D printing help eliminate the single biggest cause of production downtime? It could and it has. Partnering with us, QualiCal developed a shaft level indicator that offers the potential for increased revenue of up to €1,400,000.
Solutions: Additive Manufacturing, Metal 3D Printing
Working together Materialise and Philips Lighting explored the benefits 3D Printing could offer for components in a production environment. The first two parts we developed; a lamp holder bracket, previously prone to part failure and a redesigned suction gripper; are together realizing cost savings of around €89,000 a year.
Materialise’s pneumatic grippers made an appearance at the EXPO MILANO 2015, giving a hand (literally) to ABB’s dual-arm robot, YuMi. With these grippers, YuMi can do much of what human hands can do in an assembly-line job, with more precision and consistency.