The Path to a Digital Factory

Oerlikon AM, the additive manufacturing unit of technology group Oerlikon, and Siemens AG announced a strategic agreement in which Siemens will provide Oerlikon AM with digital enterprise solutions that will help Oerlikon accelerate the industrialization of additive manufacturing.

The integration of Siemens’ Digital Enterprise portfolio into Oerlikon’s software landscape in its AM production and R&D sites will support Oerlikon in actively managing the AM engineering process from end to end using one interface. The technology includes software solutions in engineering, as well as product life cycle management.

Dr. Sven Hicken, Oerlikon, head of additive manufacturing business unit, and Dr. Karsten Heuser, Siemens, vice president for additive manufacturing, at the Formnext trade fair in Frankfurt, November 2019. (Source: Oerlikon)

The long-term objective is to create a digital factory in which Oerlikon AM can see the impact of change in any part of the process, from material selection to engineering design to printing and post-processing, and adapt accordingly. “At the moment we have a variety of special tools that we use for different steps of the value chain,” said Dr. Sven Hicken, head of Oerlikon’s Additive Manufacturing business unit. “Developing a more integrated system that gives us increased visibility and puts all of our manufacturing sites on the same page will allow us more flexibility and speed in responding to customer requests. We expect this to lead to more rapid progress in integrating additively manufactured parts into series production.”

The two companies will begin by focusing on tools used in the engineering part of the AM process. The project is expected to take about two years to complete, but individual modules will go into operation as completed. “Oerlikon has extensive expertise in the additive manufacturing process. We know we can learn from them and are excited by the opportunity to use our technology to enhance their productivity,” said Dr. Karsten Heuser, vice president additive manufacturing, Siemens Digital Industries. “Working together, we believe we can make a major impact on industry’s adoption of AM.” (Source: Oerlikon)

Links: Digital Industries, Siemens AG, Munich, GermanyOerlikon Additive Manufacturing Solutions, OC Oerlikon Corporation AG, Pfäffikon, Switzerland

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