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Grip component of Ronchi capping machine goes on 3D diet

For over half a century, Ronchi has been designing and manufacturing machinery for packaging liquid products ranging from foodstuffs to chemical goods and cosmetics. Among this Italian machinery manufacturer's products are capping machines that screw caps onto plastic bottles. Ronchi teamed up with Sirris to examine how 3D printing could further increase the productivity of such units.
  • 3D printing has not only made the capping machine's grip mechanism more versatile but also 92% lighter.
  • This also means that a lighter drive mechanism can be used, speeding up the machine as a whole.
  • And that's not all: the cost of manufacturing the grip component has been slashed by around 65%

Founded in 1966, Ronchi is an Italian machinery manufacturer specializing in producing packaging machinery for liquid products for a very wide variety of sectors, spanning healthcare, food and pharmaceuticals.

Through a topological optimization and 3D printing, the weight of the machine's grip mechanism was reduced by an amazing 92%. 

Lighter and more versatile

Italian company Ronchi contacted Sirris with a view to reducing the weight of the grip on its capping machine without making it any less robust, as this would allow the machine to operate faster. This provided a perfect business case for 3D printing and the Sirris Additive Manufacturing team. 

Streamlined component

Using sophisticated software, the Sirris team determined how the grip mechanism could be integrated best (i.e. weighing as little as possible) into the machine, with a topological optimization making the grip lighter. A check was also carried out on whether the grip could be made of polyamide 12, using selective laser melting, instead of stainless steel, given this sturdy plastic's noted chemical resistance and outstanding ability to withstand wear and tear. 

Faster, better, cheaper

The topological optimization reduced the weight of the grip for the screw caps by no less than 92%. This also means that a lighter drive mechanism is enough to operate the grip, making the machine as a whole slightly faster. Furthermore, making the grip out of plastic by using laser melting dramatically brings down production costs, with these falling from €260 to €90 - equivalent to an astonishing 65% saving.