ZEISS to Present Solutions for Optimizing Additive Manufacturing Processes
With its solutions for process optimization, ZEISS enables improved output in the 3D printing process chain.
Oberkochen/Germany | 24 April 2018 | Industrial Metrology
From medical implants to aircraft turbines – there is a wide range of potential applications for industrial 3D printed metal parts. At the Control trade fair in Stuttgart, Germany from 24 through 27 April 2018, ZEISS will present metrology and microscopy solutions for increasing the number of in-spec parts and revenue in a special Additive Manufacturing area.
"We assume that an increasing number of critical components will be manufactured with 3D printing. Efficiency depends largely on how well companies understand and monitor the additive manufacturing process chain," says Dr. Claus Hermannstädter, who is responsible for Strategy and Business Development at the ZEISS Industrial Metrology business group. "Laying the foundation for the necessary process expertise generally requires years of investment." In Hermannstädter's experience, detailed analyses of materials and processes can significantly reduce the number of iteration loops. At Control, ZEISS will present a large number of solutions that provide a more in-depth understanding of upstream and downstream 3D printing processes and enable companies to closely monitor then.
Before printing: microscopes for material inspection
One important issue for quality assurance is powder characterization, because the powder bed fusion process requires the use of powders with very strict specifications concerning size, shape and material properties. At the booth in Hall Four, ZEISS will demonstrate how users can employ light and electron microscopes to conveniently inspect the quality of the metal powder in use. "In order to speed up these inspections, ZEISS has developed correlative techniques that bridge the gap between light and electron microscopy and give customers a better understanding of the material characteristics," says Dr. Robert Zarnetta, who is responsible for Industrial Applications at the ZEISS Microscopy business group.
After printing: solutions for defect detection and process optimization
In addition to microscopes, ZEISS will also present optical 3D scanners, CT scanners, high-resolution X-ray microscopes and coordinate measuring machines for detecting printing defects as well as downstream processing problems. For Zarnetta, the CT scanners showcased at the special Additive Manufacturing area at Control are especially well-suited for checking the interior structure of components and identifying defects or dimensional errors. Suitable optical and X-ray-based systems can be used to inspect the outer and interior surfaces.
According to Hermannstädter, comparing the measurement data acquired across all manufacturing steps allows companies to more quickly determine if downstream processes, including heat treatment and removing components from the build plate, affect the part's final dimensional characteristics. This information assists with optimizing the entire manufacturing process.
Spanning all stages of production: ZEISS PiWeb
In addition to the broad hardware portfolio from ZEISS, Hermannstädter und Zarnetta emphasize that software also plays a key role in additive manufacturing: the quality data management software ZEISS PiWeb enables all information to be correlated and statistically evaluated across the entire process chain. "At Control, ZEISS will demonstrate how users can build on their experiences in the traditional manufacturing environment with ZEISS PiWeb software in order to speed up additive manufacturing process development and hence improve overall performance," says Hermannstädter.
ZEISS is an internationally leading technology enterprise operating in the fields of optics and optoelectronics. The ZEISS Group develops, produces and distributes measuring technology, microscopes, medical technology, eyeglass lenses, camera and cinema lenses, binoculars and semiconductor manufacturing equipment. With its solutions, the company constantly advances the world of optics and helps shape technological progress. ZEISS is divided up into the four segments Research & Quality Technology, Medical Technology, Vision Care/Consumer Products and Semiconductor Manufacturing Technology. The ZEISS Group is represented in more than 40 countries and has over 50 sales and service locations, more than 30 manufacturing sites and about 25 research and development centers around the globe.
In fiscal year 2016/17 the company generated revenue approximating €5.3 billion with around 27,000 employees. Founded in 1846 in Jena, the company is headquartered in Oberkochen, Germany. Carl Zeiss AG is the strategic management holding company that manages the ZEISS Group. The company is wholly owned by the Carl Zeiss Stiftung (Carl Zeiss Foundation).
Further information at www.zeiss.com
The Industrial Metrology business group is a leading manufacturer of multidimensional metrology solutions. These include coordinate measuring machines, optical and multisensor systems, and metrology software for the automotive, aircraft, mechanical engineering, plastics and medical technology industries. Innovative technologies such as 3D X-ray metrology for quality inspection round off the product portfolio. The business group additionally offers a broad global spectrum of customer services with measuring houses and competence centers close to its customers.
The Industrial Metrology business group is headquartered in Oberkochen. Production and development sites outside Germany are located in Minneapolis in the USA, Shanghai, China and Bangalore, India. The business group is allocated to the Research & Quality Technology segment. Around 6,300 employees work for the segment, generating revenue totaling €1.5 billion in fiscal year 2016/17.
The Microscopy business group is the world's only one-stop manufacturer of light, electron, X-ray and ion microscope systems as well as solutions for correlative microscopy. The portfolio compromises products and services for the life sciences and materials research as well as for industry, education and clinical practice. The business group is headquartered in Jena. Additional production and development sites are located in Oberkochen, Göttingen and Munich, as well as in Cambridge in the UK, and in Peabody, MA and Pleasanton, CA in the USA. The business group is allocated to the Research & Quality Technology segment. Around 6,300 employees work for the segment, generating revenue totaling €1.5 billion in fiscal year 2016/17.