Manufacturing with Countless PossibilitiesAdvance Manufacturing Transformation Center (AMTC) is the first of its kind competence center that provides guidance and support to manufacturing facilities in ASEAN on their journey of adoption, transition and transformation towards advance manufacturing. The center will showcase state of the art Siemens Digital Enterprise solutions that will enable companies to create a digital twin model in order to simulate and evaluate its operations in a real manufacturing environment. The center will also house its first Additive Manufacturing Experience Center (AMEC) outside of Germany, where companies can experience an advance end-to-end additive manufacturing production line with our technology partners. Companies will be able to carry out prototyping and low volume production with the support of our on-site Additive Manufacturing experts, enabling a smooth transition and transformation to in-house advance manufacturing. AMTC is more than just a facility for research and development activities for additive manufacturing. It will be an advance manufacturing ecosystem with operational production capabilities.
Companies in ASEAN are struggling to make Industrie 4.0 a reality: How can you minimize investment risks? How do you gain and maintain competitive advantage? These are only two example questions you might ask yourself. With AMTC, we want to address the key challenges to accelerate Singapore's industrial adoption of advance manufacturing.
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AMTC at a GlanceThe Center combines 3 key elements – the Digital Enterprise Experience Center (DEX), the Additive Manufacturing Experience Center (AMEC) and Rental Labs, creating a one-stop advance manufacturing ecosystem to provide guidance and support for companies embarking on their digital transformation journeys.
Importance for Siemens
Additive Manufacturing (AM) has the potential to fundamentally change the development and production of components. With this technology, also known as 3D printing, components are manufactured layer by layer in three dimensions based on digital engineering data. AM successfully utilizes polymers, metals, and ceramic materials.
Siemens is well-positioned to fulfill this mission because it is the only company that combines all the necessary areas of expertise. Siemens is a leading user of industrial-grade AM, having made breakthroughs in, for example, maximizing gas turbine efficiency and in making a significant progress in customer services. In early 2017, Siemens achieved a breakthrough in 3D printing: the first successful full-load engine tests for gas turbine blades completely produced using AM. These blades operate at temperatures of up to 1,250° Celsius and endure rotational forces corresponding to a weight of 11 tons. An example of innovative spare parts on demand is the 3D-printed housing cover for tram couplers.
As a supplier, Siemens provides market-leading solutions to fully digitalize AM, from design and engineering software to cutting-edge simulation tools and full machine and shop-floor automation, which is aimed at machine builders and users. No other company can offer such a comprehensive portfolio for creating a seamless digital chain, from the initial design to post-processing for any part.
Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) software from Siemens is already supporting the 3D printing of components in a variety of ways. The latest version of the PLM software, NX, now includes features specifically for AM that are compatible with industrial 3D printers.
Additionally, Siemens offers engineering and printing services, as well as complete additive parts manufacturing by Material Solutions and Mobility Services.
To further shape the industrialization of AM and to extend its leading edge, Siemens is conducting a dedicated, company-wide innovation program. The objective is to develop new, cutting-edge applications for the digital chain with the goal of realizing “first-time-right”, cost-efficient, and fully industrialized AM.
The final goal is to develop components with new or improved functionalities for a variety of applications, including electric motors, trains, and turbines. One key driver is the development of new technologies and an ambitious roadmap for components that maximize the efficiency of our power generation products.
An Optimized Twin
“Additive manufacturing has developed into an independent production route that makes it possible to create completely innovative components and structures in small batches as well as in individualized mass production runs,” says Roland Busch, Chief Operating Officer, CTO and Member of the Managing Board of Siemens AG. For example, 3D printing makes it possible to produce chassis for racing cars, complex components for aircraft engines, hip joints, and gas turbine blades. It is also a useful way to make spare parts for machines that have been operating for decades, for example in trains or power plants. If an upgrade is desired, the digital twin of an original component can quickly be optimized before the replacement is produced. Indeed, in view of its many profound advantages, it’s no wonder that 3D printing is regarded as a key industrial technology of the future.
A gas turbine burner needs a new head. It’s digitally designed, simulated, and optimized on a computer. The complete production process is also tested in a virtual environment.
Then it’s time: a thin layer of metal powder is applied.
The heat of a laser beam solidifies the powder to create the first metal layer.
The platform, together with the component, is lowered a few micrometers.
A new layer of metal powder is applied.
Again, the laser traces the contour of the component.
Layer by layer, the new burner head is melted onto the existing component.
Today, additive manufacturing already offers a range of unique opportunities – and not just in power generation. Thanks to increasing digitalization, it is rapidly becoming a standalone production method or complementing conventional methods in hybrid manufacturing. The future of 3D printing has only just begun.