“This new technology opens doors and empowers innovations that previously couldn’t live outside of a computer simulation,” said Adam Boyle, director of Global Additive Manufacturing Operations at Emerson Automation Solutions.
As tech-savvy buyers embrace 3D printing of consumer goods, industrial and manufacturing leaders are putting similar technology to work to tackle customers’ biggest engineering and manufacturing. Welcome to the world of Additive Manufacturing.
What is Additive Manufacturing? Think 3D printing for the harsh demands of the industrial world. Additive Manufacturing describes the technology that builds three-dimensional objects by adding material, layer by layer, from a digital model. Experts are rapidly exploring the wide uses of this fast-evolving technology. And while 3D printing with plastics is becoming commonplace, the 3D printing of metal alloys is a new frontier that breaks down the limitations imposed by traditional processes.
Additive manufacturing enables Emerson engineers to expand their thinking beyond the limits of standard manufacturing processes to design and produce innovative solutions to meet ever more demanding and stringent processes. Additive manufacturing also significantly accelerates the design, prototyping and testing of new products, and promises to greatly simplify the production supply chain. Emerson is seeing as much as an 85 percent reduction in engineered product design and development time.
Many Emerson customers face unique challenges in control and automation of their processes, and whether these challenges stem from the process fluid or process conditions, additive has demonstrably improved Emerson’s ability to engineer, validate and deliver an effective solution.
“This new technology opens doors and empowers innovations that previously couldn’t live outside of a computer simulation,” said Adam Boyle, director of Global Additive Manufacturing Operations at Emerson Automation Solutions. “Additive manufacturing makes it possible to quickly find the best product design. Our team can now develop and produce multiple designs at once and rely on real world testing to determine which will work best. In an industry where safety and performance are paramount, having this level of precision is crucial.”
Through a partnership with the Singapore Economic Development Board and Nanyang Technological University, Emerson has opened a new additive manufacturing center in Singapore dedicated to the acceleration of additive manufacturing as a production technology.
The center will focus on manufacturing valve and automation components for process industries with better speed and more flexibility than traditional manufacturing. This center will also be the source of Emerson’s first Next Generation products that can only be made with the freedoms of additive manufacturing.
Boyle and his team oversee Emerson’s additive manufacturing program, which was launched over three years ago with the opening of our first additive manufacturing technology center in Marshalltown, Iowa, USA. Together, the Marshalltown and Singapore centers are actively working on research and development and pilot production services for all Emerson businesses around the world.
Emerson’s centers will continue to explore the many benefits of additive manufacturing, particularly on the supply chain. Having the ability to build products on demand is significant for an industry that often grapples with the supply chain challenges inherent to supplying low-volume engineered solutions.
“Additive manufacturing is a game-changer for our industry and may ultimately close the last gap in the industrial revolution—the ability to quickly produce low-volume, high-mix components,” Boyle said. “There are endless possibilities for this technology, and we’re excited to dig in and uncover the next great application for the customers and industries we serve.”