“improve performance, reduce weight and reduce costs”
Many clients feel that metal Additive Manufacturing is the solution to most of their challenges, from increased sales to engineering problems. However as much as Additive Manufacturing brings to the Aerospace and Defence industry it is not the answer to all challenges. This is why we take all new clients and new projects through a metal Additive Manufacturing marketing review to ensure the business, products and customers are going to gain enough of an advantage from Additive Manufacturing that it warrants the investment.
With over 15 years’ experience of designing and developing Additive products within the Aerospace and Defence sector we know what works well and what is just a challenge too far at this moment in time. We look for profitable problems that Additive Manufacturing can solve and products that we are able to improve using the advancing technology of Industry 4.0. This could be a product that, due to an improved design, performs better, costs less to manufacture or reduces the overall weight of an aircraft of vehicle.
Producing your own Additive parts is not the only way to incorporate the benefits of Additive processes into your business. We have strong ties with a number of key industry suppliers and can help connect you with likeminded businesses to form mutually beneficial relationships, allowing you to receive the benefits of Additive without the initial overhead investments.
If it doesn’t make sense at the marketing stage then we will advise you, as getting robust, profitable Additive products on platforms is the mutual goal of Additive4 and our clients.
“greater design freedom to design parts that could not have been manufactured previously”
Additive Manufacturing allows for greater design freedom to design parts that could not have been manufactured previously, as well as designs that can optimise the performance and reduce the waste of conventional manufacturing processes. This means that additive designed parts can be lighter, perform better and reduce the cost of manufacturing. Too many companies ask the question ‘Can we make this part via metal Additive Manufacturing?’ We ask the question ‘What will be the benefits of the design via metal Additive Manufacturing?’ This means we need to understand the application, the environment and the purpose, so we can allow for a design that increases performance, minimises weight and also can be manufactured in volume. Additive4’s expert designers will explore a range of Additive processes and find the most appropriate technology to grow your product.
We make the initial design through rapid prototyping to shorten the time it takes to bring new products to market. Once we have the initial product we take it through a full Finite Element Analysis (FEA) as well as prototype testing to make sure we have a design that is robust and meets the design intent. The new product is taken through a defined testing process with the end user to ensure that the design passes all the product validation requirements so that it can be supplied directly to the build lines.
As designing for Additive Manufacturing opens up the design envelope we encourage clients to actively seek patents for the amended products as we have found that most of the new designs allow for intellectual protection and thus commercial advantage. Our unique standpoint in the market allows us to provide you with complete post-development support, including IP fortification. At Additive4 we see our clients’ victories as our own and have many of our own designs widely used in the global market, evidencing our historical design success.
“allows for existing product lines to be redesigned for greater performance”
Additive Manufacturing allows for existing product lines to be redesigned to allow for greater performance, reduced manufacturing costs and reduced weight. Not all products benefit from Additive4 redesign as it depends on the application, the materials, the product and the environment. This is why we conduct a product audit to start the redesign process to make sure that the product is suited to Additive Manufacturing.
Once complete we do a back to basics redesign where we look at the original design intent and redesign from this bases so that we have a new product that meets the original intent and delivers the full benefits of Additive Manufacturing. The new design is then produced via rapid prototyping to decrease the time it takes to bring the rejuvenated product to market. Additive4’s dedicated design team then carry out full Finite Element Analysis (FEA) as well as prototype testing to make sure we have a design that is robust. The redesigned product is taken through a defined testing process with the end user to ensure that the redesign passes all the product validation requirements so that it can be supplied directly to the build lines.
We understand that it is not always easy envisioning the redesign of existing products; this is where our experience comes in. Additive4 take the time to explore the most appropriate process for your product, helping you to understand the benefits behind the chosen method so you can pass these benefits to your customers.
“make your additive machine deliver maximised performance”
As a consultancy we have a deep level of knowledge and experience with regards to manufacturing metal parts via the Additive process, covering all of the major Additive Manufacturing machine types all over the world. At Additive4 we can provide rapid prototyping, direct metal laser sintering (DLMS) and binder jetting to name but a few. Our extensive knowledge of the core 3D printing processes allows us to select the most appropriate technology for your product.
We are able to support businesses on the best processes, the best machines and how to program the machines to maximise the output for Additive with regards product quality and machine utilisation. It is this direct support that has allowed us to bring our and our clients’ designs to life via rapid prototyping, but also allow for serial supply of Additive parts around the globe.
We are able to work with you to make your Additive machine perform, as well as show you how to maximise performance from part nesting, reduction of secondary operations to optimal build patterns. This experience has been gained from having built over 300,000 items within the metal Additive Manufacturing space. This means that we can imbed your new designs and deliver a final product that you can sell to your customer.
Additive4 Supply Chain
“robust metal additive manufacturing supply chain all within an AS9100 environment”
Additive4 Supply Chain
Not all clients wish to have the metal Additive Manufacturing capability in house but do wish to offer the service out to the market. This is where our Additive4 Supply Chain comes in; we are able to provide you the parts your customers want without the setup and infrastructure costs. We have the capability to supplement your supply chain with rapid prototyping, allowing you to take new and improved products to market. Over the last 10 years we have developed a robust metal Additive Manufacturing supply chain all within an AS9100 environment. We print the Additive parts, conduct all secondary operations, including everything from plate removal through to polishing and heat treatment, and even provide assembly if required. This means that you are supplied a finished item that has all the benefits from the Additive design and manufacturing processes with a fraction of the setup costs and overheads.
The Additive4 Supply Chain is scalable so there is no dramatic need to bring the manufacturing processes in-house and means that you can keep pace with the customers’ demand. If we cannot produce the parts in house via rapid manufacturing we have trusted partners who can. All of the suppliers have been vetted and are audited on a regular basis. Due to the number of products we produce through this supply chain we have enough flexibility to be reactive but also robust enough to ensure quality worthy of Industry 4.0.