TTM LASER S.P.A., OFFICINE MECCANICHE GIUSEPPE LAFRANCONI S.P.A., GFM S.P.A., GF MACHINING SOLUTIONS SPA, FUBRI S.R.L., CO.STAMP - SRL, BLM S.P.A., 3D NEW TECHNOLOGIES S.R.L., University of Pavia, Milan Polytechnic - POLIMI
Development of a new supply chain that uses 3D printing to create an integrated additive factory model able to meet different needs of demand and research. Additive processes (also called 3D printing) are the frontier of advanced manufacturing, a component of Industry 4.0. The automated integration of processes and the digitisation of data offer the following advantages:
- Reduction in lead times from design to production of the first prototype.
- Reduction in the cost of production for batches of a few units of product (otherwise unmanageable), to the design and manufacture of products (often in one piece) with functions, surfaces, shapes, geometries, densities and structures that exceed the constraints of traditional production methods.
- More agile management of the life cycle and production flexibility.
- Delocalisation of production, bringing the factory closer to the customer.
The MADE4LO platform is designed to be accessible to Lombard SMEs, offering them:
- Skills applied to new DED and SLM additive processes for innovative products, a cluster able to design, produce, finish and qualify them. Innovative additive systems for metal for the production of powders, for additive printing and for finishing semi-finished products.
- Infrastructure comprising a pilot line located at Milan Polytechnic (three demonstrators for 3D metal printing machines for as many classes of applications, an ad hoc heat treatment pilot furnace at Tenova Castellanza, a site dedicated to solutions for integration of the additive and subtractive/finishing (GF) phases, a demonstrator of a powder atomisation system at CSM in Castel Romano, a network of R&D laboratories).
- On-the-job training of technical and managerial staff to manage a process in the additive manufacturing chain for metals.
The integrated supply chain to be developed is based on the entire production process: design, powder production, printing, heat treatments and finishing, qualification of powders, product and process. Parallel to these stages, a general reflection is required on the use of digital information and the values related to economic and environmental sustainability and the consequent implications for health and safety.
The project makes available to Lombard SMEs an innovative production method that reduces environmental impact and makes the production of small batches economically feasible. This production method also reduces the employment of low-skilled labour, but requires new and specialised professional skills.
The project is in line with the instructions of the Regional Technological Cluster "AFIL- Associazione Fabbrica Intelligente Lombarda" and its Working Group "Additive Manufacturing", underlining that additive processes are the frontier of advanced manufacturing.