Smaller Fluid Power Parts With Additive Manufacturing
Global engineering technology company, Renishaw, recently collaborated with Domin Fluid Power to help the company maximise productivity when designing and manufacturing direct drive valves. Using metal additive manufacturing (AM) techniques, the company can now manufacture smaller, more efficient drives and reduce cycle times from five and a half hours to just one.
Domin collaborated with Renishaw to develop a new, stable, state-of-the-art technology suite for the fluid power sector. The company visited Renishaw’s AM Solutions Centre in Stone, Staffordshire, UK, to develop their understanding of AM and understand how the technology could help them to produce highly efficient drives for customers.
“Metal AM allows you to stretch the art of what is possible in the fluid power sector,” explained Marcus Pont, general manager of Domin Fluid Power. “After spending years on testing different prototypes and designs we have developed our knowledge in AM that will enable us to produce efficient parts for customers. For example, we have designed one of our drives that is 25% of the original size, 25% more powerful and produced at a third of the cost.”
Martin McMahon, AM lead technical consultant at Renishaw, added: “At Renishaw we are always looking for opportunities to be involved with developing emerging technologies that make positive changes in the industrial world. We’ve worked with Domin throughout the whole process, from investigating material properties, to exploring the advantages of using the latest technologies, such as the RenAM 500Q, in production.
“Additive manufacturing is a key technology for Domin. It gives the company the ability to build complex parts, free of tooling and with minimal operations and assembly. Trying to integrate such complex functionality into such a small design would not be possible using conventional manufacturing techniques.”
Manufacturers in a wide variety of sectors can use AM technology to improve productivity in high value, small volume production. Renishaw’s latest system, the RenAM 500Q, is currently broadening the market appeal of AM into applications that were previously uneconomical due to its efficiency.
The compact system features four 500W lasers to speed up the printing process by up to four times, improving productivity and lowering cost per part. At its state-of-the-art site in Stone, Renishaw showcases its expertise in additive manufacturing. Partners can visit the Solutions Centre to help unlock the potential of AM and develop an efficient end-to-end process.