ALM accelerates automotive part production
11 February 2011
Additive layer manufacturing (ALM) for direct part production has been embraced by a number of manufacturing sectors including the automotive industry, where the technology is used, not just for rapid prototyping, but pilot production and small series production of engine and other mechanical components. ALM's ability to produce components in a wide range of materials including steel, titanium and aluminium alloys, presents the industry with immense potential for direct part production.
Concept Laser is part of the Hofmann Innovation Group, based in Lichtenfels / Bavaria (Germany). Since its inception in 2001, the company has been regarded as a pioneer in the field of generative metal laser fusing with its novel LaserCUSING technology. There are now more than 100 systems installed.
LaserCUSING offers a 'tool-less' method of manufacturing components, which means that within only a few days (manufacturing 24h/day), components can be produced using original material with corresponding material characteristics. These relatively short production time scales allow rapid integration of components into the test vehicle, ultimately reducing development times.
The process has been used to manufacture components such as a racing exhaust manifold (pictured). Produced on a Concept Laser M2 cusing machine from CL 31AL (AlSi 10mg), using a 200W fibre laser system, this component was directly fitted to the test vehicle upon completion.
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