Renishaw Metal AM Enables Domin to Create CO2-Reducing Valve
Renishaw’s RenAM 500Q gave Domin the design freedom to reduce CO2 emissions from its servo valves — approximately one ton per year for each valve.
Photo Credit: Renishaw
Domin has used metal additive manufacturing technology from Renishaw to develop a range of efficient servo valves, and is now setting out to showcase how engineering start-ups can drive value for UK industry. Domin has produced what it says is a first-of-its kind product — a high-performance servo valve. Such innovation represents the company’s first step towards drastically reducing CO2 emissions from the fluid power industry, as every valve can save one ton of CO2 annually.
Disruption Through AM
Domin aims to disrupt the fluid power industry by improving the range of technology available and increasing sustainability. Although recent decades have seen swathes of technology introduced across all industries, Domin believes there has not yet been an innovation that has caused significant enough change in the fluid power market.
For Domin, metal additive manufacturing (AM) was the missing piece of the puzzle, and it turned to this technology to design its product range. By using the Renishaw RenAM 500Q, a four-laser AM system designed for serial production applications, Domin was able to increase its productivity, achieve design freedom and reduce cost per part in such a way that 3D printing presented a compelling case for use in hydraulic manufacturing.
“There is a pressing reason disruption is needed — sustainability,” says Marcus Pont, CEO of Domin. “In the US, the fluid power sector alone wastes about 300 million tons of CO2 per year through system inefficiencies. To put this into context, this is about the same as the total output for all CO2 emissions in the UK. More efficient technology could make a real difference to global emissions.”
“Britain is home to some of the world’s leading engineering businesses,” Pont adds. “However, most of the UK’s big engineering businesses were started in the 20th century. It’s time for British business to become more ambitious. Combining metal additive manufacturing with other technologies revolutionizes what can be achieved technically — it could generate real value for British industry.”
Domin says its servo valves are only the first step in its plans. Long term, the company plans to manufacture and sell complete systems. Photo Credit: Renishaw
“Additive manufacturing is proving to be a key enabler in many markets,” says Bryan Austin, director of sales, additive manufacturing group at Renishaw. “The productivity that Renishaw’s technology enables means metal 3D printing is broadening into markets where it was previously uneconomical. Domin has showcased how AM can be used to make products better, faster and cheaper than traditional manufacturing would allow.”
Domin designed its electrohydraulic valves for demanding servo applications, and markets them as small, light, affordable and high-performance products that are easy to configure online while offering good power density and dynamic performance. Pont sees this product range as just the first step in creating change in fluid power systems across the UK, as “every valve saves over one ton of CO2 per year compared with alternative products.”
A Colorado alliance has found the link between AM and AI. Using machine learning to map the formula for successful metal 3D printing, researchers aim to know the right parameters for any new part with few or no test builds.
New potential for mold tooling applications is reached with custom-designed materials for additive manufacturing.
What makes a good metal powder for additive manufacturing? Case study data highlights the value of particle size and shape, powder flowability, and bulk density.