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Support for consortium developing integrated AM system

In 2015, Flanders Make and Sirris along with six other partners launched the Interdisciplinary Cooperative Research (ICON) project Amprodchain with a view to building up know-how and providing a proof of concept for the integration of Additive Manufacturing (AM) into manufacturing systems for serial production of customised parts. One of Sirris's contributions was to adopt a structured development approach, from requirements to development through to testing, in which the various partners can develop the modules jointly and in parallel.
  • Developing an integrated production system
  • Consortium of 8 partners bringing together 77 people
  • Sirris applies its structured development approach to make all the partners' requirements clear and document them
  • This centralised information serves as a guide to ensure the right design choices are made

The Amprodchain project brings together four companies (Materialise, Averna, ABB, and RS Print) and four knowledge partners (Flanders Make, Sirris, VUB B-PHOT, and KU Leuven's PMA Division). In all, 77 people from these organisations are collaborating on this project. 

An integrated production line for additive manufacturing of customized products

With this project the consortium was aiming to build up know-how and provide a proof of concept for the integration of Additive Manufacturing (AM) into manufacturing systems for serial production of customised parts. With 8 partners and 77 people involved, coming up with an integrated solution is no easy task. Sirris was glad to lead from the front in taking up the challenge of exploring how to produce new, integrated manufacturing system concepts in such a complex project.

From the implicit needs of the various partners to a structured, consistent set of requirements

At the start of the project, Sirris put questions to many experts from the various partners to get a clearer idea of the requirements of the whole manufacturing system, its subsystems and the required end products. This information was systematized and, where appropriate, presented in graphic form so that all the partners had a clear idea of their role within the project. In the conceptual-development phase, this information formed the basis for making design choices. These designs were also documented by Sirris in a similar way.

From conceptual development to implementation

The various subsystems are now being constructed and integrated. Sirris's systematic approach meant that the underlying requirements and ideas could be clearly mapped and laid down, which is reflected in the quality of the implemented solutions.

 

The output of the Amprodchain project will have a direct impact on the production of RS Print and lead to a significant increase in market penetration for customized footwear. It will also enable Materialise to develop and capitalize on a wide range of AM applications for mass customization. Averna and ABB will use the knowledge acquired about machine building and automation for additive manufacturing to develop activities for industrial AM production chains.