OECHSLER Significantly Expands Production Capacity for One of the World’s Largest Polymer-Based Additive Series Productions
OECHSLER AG (“OECHSLER”), a leading polymers technology group with a global presence and headquarters in Ansbach/Middle Franconia, is extending its partnership with the US additive manufacturing pioneer Carbon and their production capacity for one of the world’s largest polymer-based additive series production facilities.
Since 2004, the OECHSLER Group has been operating a production site in Taicang, near the metropolis of Shanghai. When expanding 3D printing as a future-oriented manufacturing technology, the implementation of a global production infrastructure was a key success criterion for the polymer specialist. The industrialization of additive manufacturing is OECHSLER’s second pillar, it was initiated in 2016 and implemented in Germany in a record-breaking 15 months then mirrored in the Chinese production facility a few months later. Within eight months, a series production with 120 industrial printers from Carbon was set up there. Meanwhile, the additive series production in Taicang covers a production area of 1800 square meters, representing one of the largest Carbon printing fleets in series production globally.
OECHSLER and Carbon have worked with end customers to develop numerous 3D-printed end customer products and converted them into series production as part of this collaboration. These include prestige projects such as shoe soles, damping elements for American football helmets for an US sporting goods manufacturer and bicycle saddles. Due to its high production capacities, OECHSLER’s Asian site is of particular importance for the strategic partnership between the two industrial pioneers.
The extension of the partnership between Carbon and OECHSLER is accompanied by a double-digit million investment by the Franconian medium-sized company in the Chinese AM site. As a result, the production capacity is expanded to over two million parts per year.
Phil DeSimone, Co-Founder and member of the Office of the CEO at Carbon says: “Carbon’s Production Network partners worldwide are an essential pillar of the Carbon ecosystem. With OECHSLER, we have a strong partnership that enables additive series production and real innovation. By extending our strategic partnership, we can not only further optimize our idea-to-production platform, but we can open up new markets together. We believe this is another milestone that will help companies bring better products to market in less time.”
Carbons Idea-to-production platform offers technology portfolio
3D printing pioneer Carbon offers a broad technology portfolio consisting of industrial printers, various resin materials, and software, such as Design Engine, which facilitates the creation of Lattice structures. During the printing itself, liquid resin is applied continuously with the patented DLS technology and cured under the influence of UV light and oxygen. This innovative technology package offers the possibility to manufacture a wide variety of products seamlessly one after the other. As part of additive series production, OECHLSER has already been able to produce seven different applications in one day.
The “Idea-to-production” platform is made available by Carbon through a subscription model. While the acquisition of technical equipment for additive manufacturing can be associated with a large capital investment and hardware degradation over time, Carbon develops technologies that offer increased benefits and immediate over-the-air performance updates. The subscription basis ensures that the Carbon 3D printing platform is constantly evolving with regular software updates, development and deployment of materials, and automated remote updates of printers that add new features and capabilities, improved user experience, faster and more accurate prints, and more sophisticated process management
Dr. Claudius Kozlik, CEO of OECHSLER AG, adds: “I am convinced that in addition to financial predictability in terms of acquisition and maintenance cost, Carbon’s subscription model offers great benefits in the rapidly evolving Additive Manufacturing industry, including real-time support and integrated services packages at no extra costs, and, most importantly, continuous performance improvement through over-the-air updates.”
Pre- and post-development becoming more important
The variability in the product portfolio made possible by additive manufacturing must also be able to map pre- and post-processes. The expertise built up by OECHSLER in recent years, especially in the post-processing of 3D printed components, is another success criterion for series production at the technology-oriented Franconian polymer specialist since the printing itself corresponds to approximately 50 percent of the production value chain. This includes post-processing steps such as cleaning and heat treatment, which give the components their defined mechanical properties.
Oechsler and Carbon plan entry into new markets
The extension of the strategic partnership between Carbon and OECHSLER is intended to further advance product and process development on both sides to make innovation and production more resource-efficient and realize optimizations. The companies plan to jointly open up new markets and support designers and engineers to develop products in the long term. Together, the two partners take a leading role in the global market for additive manufacturing. Carbon’s outstanding technology coupled with OECHSLER’s development and process know-how enables them to quickly and flexibly develop products for their customers worldwide and to mass produce them on one of the world’s largest 3D printer fleets.
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