Innovation at Atlas Copco: 3D printing and collaboration extending over divisional boundaries

In addition to the first four Factories of the Future, there are quite a number of companies in Belgium who are constantly innovating. One of them is Atlas Copco. The international group consists of four divisions with compressor technology being the largest. 3D printing is gaining lots of interest, including knowledge of AM technologies.

The Atlas Copco compressor technology divisional headquarters is in Belgium. In addition to product development, the production and logistics divisions are also located here. About 3,000 people are employed. Flemish engineers represent the global driving force behind compressor technology innovation. They have also identified opportunities in 3D printing. As a result of this, a project was launched in 2014 bringing together experts from various divisions in order to learn as much as possible from one another and examine the various facets involved. Furthermore, Atlas Copco entered into a collaborative project with Sirris and a number of other companies to explore the opportunities presented by 3D printing.

The project went through the entire list of compressor components to consider which ones might be suitable for 3D printing. Moreover, a masterclass that was organised in cooperation with Sirris and to which a number of designers from each division participated and collaborated intensively, was also included. In addition to the production of one-off components and compressor parts,
3D printing is already offering added value at various levels, including making prototypes, as well as tooling.

This will be given in greater detail in the final instalment of Z-Industry, shown on Canal Z, where for over a period of four weeks, four role models have been featured that have successfully transformed themselves in order to guarantee future growth. View the film here:

 

Contact Atlas Copco: Sofie Deprez, sofie.deprez@be.atlascopco.com