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Solutions for Flexible, Automated Metal 3D Printing

EOS Shared Modules are designed as a production-ready solution. Consisting of various hardware and software modules, the solutions simplifies and parallelizes both the upstream and downstream workflow of the build process. "Especially when operating multiple 3D printing systems, EOS Shared Modules makes it possible to manufacture high-quality metal parts on an efficient, scalable and profitable basis," said a company spokesperson.

The various modules, plus transport systems and control center software, enable users to implement the equipping, unpacking, transporting and sieving activities parallel to the AM build process. Both manual and automated EOS Shared Modules set-ups are available for this purpose.

This modularity gives companies maximum flexibility to configure their production scenarios. The EOS Shared Modules components are set up individually and not as a combined unit, making them available for multiple 3D printing systems simultaneously. The EOSCONNECT ControlCenter software provides users with a continuous flow of key production parameters and seamless part traceability by means of a digital twin. The result is significantly increased efficiency, particularly in series manufacturing. EOS Shared Modules is designed to maximize machine uptime and boost productivity, leading to reduced part costs. In the future, the Shared Modules concept will also be offered for the EOS M 300 series.

Dr. Hannes Gostner, Senior Vice President, Division Metal Systems at EOS, said, "Modularity is the big advantage for users, as they decide which degree of automation is ideal for their production. As demand grows, customers can increase the number of EOS M 400 or EOS M 400-4 systems and expand EOS Shared Modules accordingly if necessary."

With EOS Shared Modules Manual, the workflow and transport steps upstream and downstream of the build process are performed manually. After the build process, the exchangeable frame, containing the build platform with the parts and the unmelted powder, is transferred from the AM system to a powder-tight container (IPM M Manual Xframe Container). The container is transported between the different stations using a standard pallet truck. After removal, the parts are transported to the post-processing stage, where the powder material is prepared for reuse and fed in manually by means of the IPCM-M extra or the IPCM-M pro, which are separately available.

EOS Shared Modules Automated is designed for automated AM. After the 3D printing process has been completed, the exchangeable frame is moved into a gas-tight container (IPM M Inert Gas Container L). Unlike the manual configuration, this movement of the exchangeable frame is automated. Moreover, transportation from one station to the next can be done either via a pallet truck or by using the fully automated method where an automated guided vehicle brings the container to the respective stations and the user has the option of integrating a robot to subsequently transport the parts for post-processing. The IPM M Powder Station L solution (available separately) also automatically recycles unmelted powder material in a closed circuit for reuse and delivers it to the AM systems.

To ensure not only part but also data flow in AM production, the EOSCONNECT ControlCenter software provides information on all key performance indicators, regardless of the user's location. In order to do so, the software is supplied with status information from all the hardware modules involved. In addition to the operating status of the individual 3D printing systems, all key influencing factors, such as oxygen concentration and build chamber temperature, are recorded and analyzed by the EOSCONNECT ControlCenter. The software system also records quality-related process data.

The control center always knows where each of the exchangeable frames, or IPM M Inert Gas Containers, is located, ensuring the correct assignment of system, build job and periphery module, even when several 3D printing systems are operating in parallel. At the same time, the EOSCONNECT ControlCenter makes it possible to monitor the production progress of individual orders, as well as supervise the production and identify any bottlenecks in the entire process chain. The result is a reliable and repeatable manufacturing process with optimized unit costs.

For more information contact:

EOS of North America, Inc.

28970 Cabot Drive, Suite 700

Novi, MI 48377-2978


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