Additive Manufacturing Adoption Framework

Context & Aim

This project was executed to provide an incremental adoption framework critical to AM’s widespread implementation within Irish-based manufacturers. Having carried out this project, broadly applicable and scalable solutions have been developed from initial piece-part assessment to full production line integration. At the end of this project, the research output that have been delivered are:

 

  • A practical framework for the assessment and transition of HVM products and production aids to AM implementation.
  • A full demonstration from initial part assessment to HVM integration including design process, prototype, HVM process, test & validation.
  • Tools addressing business model, skills, organisational and infrastructure requirements.

Challenge

Given the rate of change in the area of Additive Manufacturing, it has become quite difficult for companies, particularly SME’s, to adopt the technology. Other barriers to adoption include but are not limited to that of the fiscal cost of the equipment, infrastructural requirements, regulatory constraints and a significant skills gap in the work force.

Solution

In order to overcome the challenges our partners companies had, we worked with them to develop out frameworks and an overall program for the adoption of additive manufacturing. This took the form of taking various products they produce and taking them from the conceptual NPI stage through to small scale production.

This was done hand in hand with the partners in our facilities to ensure they fully understood the possibilities of the technology and that the solutions met their robust internal requirements.

Results

The result of the project takes the form of a large body of reports on every aspect of the knowledge and test results for using Additive Manufacturing for the production of high-volume parts. The framework takes the form of various tools and techniques that having been developed with manufacturers are now directly transplantable onto the production floor.

Impact

The impact for the partners companies as a direct result of the project can be felt through the adoption of the technology and the diversification into different product categories. All of the partners have been brought further along the maturity curve, with some going as far as to creating a full division dedicated to the technology.

The project has led to companies hiring staff and adopting new technologies as a result of what they have been exposed to throughout the duration of the project.

PROJECT MANAGER

Sean McConnell
Senior Technologist

THEMATIC PILLAR

Design for Manufacturing

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