Industrial 3D printer with a digital twin

Robotic fiber placement and 3D printing enable disruptive breakthroughs in today’s manufacturing processes thanks to the advantages promised by the digital twin, higher robotic intelligence and complex motion control.

Using Sinumerik One, Ingersoll Machine Tools has designed its giant industrial 3D printer MasterPrint™, the world’s largest device that prints with thermoplastics. Large parts are printed and then machined to their final shape with the same machine. By making use of Additive Manufacturing (AM), production costs were reduced by 75 percent and lead times shortened from months to days.

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An industrial 3D printer that can also perform milling, fiber placement, tape laying, inspection, and trimming: the MasterPrintTM series from Ingersoll Machine Tools is a true all-arounder. “At one minute the machine could be adding material, the next subtracting it with the milling head,” says Jason Melcher, Vice President Sales at Ingersoll. All the while, the machine maintains highly precise tolerances. No wonder Ingersoll has earned a reputation for excellence in the aerospace, defense, energy, and other heavy industry sectors.

To handle complex machining applications, Ingersoll depends on cutting-edge technologies in hardware and software from Siemens. In regard to the latter, Ingersoll chose the modular, scalable and open Sinumerik 840D sl CNC system from Siemens for its portfolio. Sinumerik 840D sl is considered the control of choice in high-end machining segments, like those Ingersoll Machine Tools serves. 

We have found a CNC hardware and software partner in Siemens who is willing to develop and encompass advanced capabilities into their products and to enable us to achieve our strategic goals and serve the needs of our customers by shortening their time-to-market and increasing their profitability.
Piergiorgio Assandri, Business Director, Ingersoll Machine Tools

The world’s largest thermoplastics 3D printing machine

Sinumerik 840D sl is the control platform for Ingersoll’s entry-level robotic platforms MasterPrint Robotic™ and MasterPrint Continuous Filament™ – as well as for its gigantic industrial 3D printer MasterPrint™, the world’s largest device that prints with thermoplastics. Large parts are printed and then machined to their final shape with the same machine. Manufacturing costs can be reduced by 75 percent and lead times shortened from months to days.

Currently, the biggest MasterPrint is at the European Technology Center of Innse Milano, which like Ingersoll is a subsidiary of Camozzi Group. This MasterPrint is designed mainly to make tools for the aerospace, space, and marine industries.

Aside from counting on Sinumerik for control, Ingersoll engineered this mega MasterPrint machine using the digitally native Sinumerik One. With its digital twin, it helps to simulate and test work processes entirely in a virtual environment.

An important aspect here is the Siemens Virtual NC Kernel (VNCK). Ingersoll uses it to embed the real CNC kernel into a virtual machine, allowing it to completely emulate real machine tool control and directly import the commissioning archive of the actual machine. Doing saves time through faster commissioning and helps Ingersoll get the machine to its customers faster. End-customers benefit too with the ability to simulate the manufacturing of their product and shorten their time-to-market while increasing production quality.

Digital twin to meet ROI targets

By offering digital twins of its products, Ingersoll is better able to serve its clients. “Our customers value our capability to create a digital twin in the design phase, because it gives them reassurance in terms of feasibility and the ROI targets they have set for themselves,” explains Jason Melcher. Perhaps most important, by including software and digital tools from Siemens in its processes, Ingersoll is able to expand into new markets. Plus, the company can even more quickly adapt to market changes. With digitalization technologies from Siemens, Ingersoll is well equipped for the future.

June 2021

A leader in advanced manufacturing processes and a global supplier of additive and subtractive machine tools for the aerospace, defense, energy, and all heavy industrial sectors, Ingersoll Machine Tools Inc is part of the Camozzi Machine Tools division of the Camozzi Group. With 30 subsidiaries in 75 countries, 2,600 employees, 5 operating divisions and 18 production sites, the Camozzi Group is a global leader in the supply of components and systems for industrial automation. Camozzi also operates in the strategic sectors of Automation, Manufacturing, Digitalization, and Textile Machinery.

Ingersoll Machine Tools