Oberkochen/Germany | 26 November 2019 | ZEISS Industrial Quality Solutions
ZEISS AMcontrol now enables the quality of the powder bed to be observed and analyzed during the 3D printing process. A uniformly distributed and trouble-free powder bed is essential for a stable and reliable additive manufacturing (AM) process. If AM technology is to be used efficiently, users must be able to understand and regulate the entire manufacturing chain. ZEISS offers the widest possible range of solutions from the electron microscope to computer tomography.
ZEISS AMcontrol enables 3D printing to be monitored during the manufacturing process. ZEISS uses AMcontrol, a patented process for manufacturing relief maps, to reliably detect problems such as grooves or protrusions. Abnormalities are automatically detected, classified and marked in a way which is easily understood by the user.
"Our solution significantly reduces the time and effort involved in quality assurance as the user only has to check the relevant images", emphasized Dr. Bernhard Wiedermann, Director Additive Manufacturing Process & Control at ZEISS Industrial Quality Solutions. This really speeds up the evaluation process. If the evaluation is linked to the 3D printer in the form of feedback it enables the company to increase the proportion of good components and reproducibility. ZEISS AMcontrol has tangible advantages for 3D printing, as Wiedemann stresses, "Our technology is very fast and robust in its operation. This is because the quality of the assessment achieved by this patented process is not influenced by the lighting conditions or any powder discoloration."
In order to use the solution in a practical application, the first step is for ZEISS to cooperate with a manufacturer of AM equipment in marketing the product. The next step will be for ZEISS to adapt AMcontrol to other manufacturers' equipment. The capabilities of ZEISS AMcontrol are also under continuous development. "Over the longer term we want to offer the user a solution which not only detects defects but evaluates them and is even capable of repairing them", stated Wiedemann. This means, for example, that in future ZEISS AMcontrol will not only tell the 3D printer where more powder has to be deposited to fill a groove caused by splashes dragged over the surface. In future it ought to be possible to combine this information with other measurements taken during the printing process and thus simplify quality assurance in 3D printing, or to enable users to speed up the identification of defect sources and relationships between the individual factors of the printing process", explained Wiedemann.
ZEISS is an internationally leading technology enterprise operating in the fields of optics and optoelectronics. In the previous fiscal year, the ZEISS Group generated annual revenue totaling more than 5.8 billion euros in its four segments Industrial Quality & Research, Medical Technology, Consumer Markets and Semiconductor Manufacturing Technology (status: 30 September 2018).
For its customers, ZEISS develops, produces and distributes highly innovative solutions for industrial metrology and quality assurance, microscopy solutions for the life sciences and materials research, and medical technology solutions for diagnostics and treatment in ophthalmology and microsurgery. The name ZEISS is also synonymous with the world's leading lithography optics, which are used by the chip industry to manufacture semiconductor components. There is global demand for trendsetting ZEISS brand products such as eyeglass lenses, camera lenses and binoculars.
With a portfolio aligned with future growth areas like digitalization, healthcare and Smart Production and a strong brand, ZEISS is shaping the future far beyond the optics and optoelectronics industries. The company's significant, sustainable investments in research and development lay the foundation for the success and continued expansion of ZEISS' technology and market leadership.
With approximately 30,000 employees, ZEISS is active globally in almost 50 countries with around 60 of its own sales and service companies, more than 30 production sites and around 25 development sites. Founded in 1846 in Jena, the company is headquartered in Oberkochen, Germany. The Carl Zeiss Foundation, one of the largest foundations in Germany committed to the promotion of science, is the sole owner of the holding company, Carl Zeiss AG.
Further information at www.zeiss.com
ZEISS Industrial Quality Solutions is a leading manufacturer of multidimensional metrology solutions. These include coordinate measuring machines, optical and multisensor systems, microscopy systems for industrial quality assurance as well as 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 portfolio. In addition, ZEISS Industrial Quality Solutions offers a broad global spectrum of customer services with ZEISS Quality Excellence Centers close to its customers. The company is headquartered in Oberkochen. Production and development sites outside Germany are located in Minneapolis in the USA, Shanghai, China and Bangalore, India. ZEISS Industrial Quality Solutions is part of the Industrial Quality & Research segment.