Solukon Digital Factory Tool Integrates AM Automation, Quality Assurance

System is designed to increase efficiency and ensure continuous quality control in additive manufacturing.
#metal #postprocessing


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Overview of the Solukon Digital Factory Tool

Overview of the Solukon Digital Factory Tool

Solukon, a provider of automated depowdering systems for additive manufacturing (AM), is launching its Digital Factory Tool to integrate AM automation and quality assurance. The sensor and interface management system is designed to enable an easy integration of automated powder removal into an overal digital production process, thereby increasing efficiency and ensuring continuous quality control throughout the AM process chain.

According to the company, the tool includes production control, maintenance management and integration of automation and process validation/quality management. It works to coordinate AM production lines, which can consist of a variety of 3D printers and peripheral equipment.

For production control, the system enables the operator to integrate all information into the dashboard of the machinery app. This includes data and parameters for cleaning programs (such as running time and batch number), which can be easily assigned via the network, the company says. The cleaning machine‘s interface enables the operator to start, monitor and modify the cleaning program, as desired, with machine state and process progress accessible in real time.

Solukon’s sensor system also monitors all sensitive machine components and processes for maintenance management. The operator can immediately recognize unwanted changes in consumption of inert gas, compressed air, chamber atmosphere or energy to get an overview about the performance of the individual machine components. Upon request, Solukon sets up an interface for remote maintenance and diagnosis.

The system also provides continuous documentation and real-time monitoring for process validation and quality management. Process steps are fully recorded and can be resubmitted for proof of quality. Problems and quality deficiencies can also be easily identified in time and their cause revealed. This includes recording relevant conditions in the process chamber, such as residual oxygen, humidity, pressure, temperature and frequency of the vibrator, in a protocol file for quality assurance. Effective evaluation of the recorded data helps validating the process in an overall quality certificate and simplifies process optimization.