It can be intimidating for manufacturers to adopt new technologies, and even more intimidating to implement them at a large scale. Part of the reason that additive manufacturing hasn’t become more widespread is that entry barrier; many companies just aren’t sure how to begin incorporating the technology, much less use it for large-volume production. Many experts, however, have been working hard to help those companies begin and continue using 3D printing on a larger scale. The latest are Renishaw and Infosys, which have teamed up to help companies accelerate their use of 3D printing for the volume production of end-use metal components.

Engineering and IT services company Infosys offers end-to-end product development and sustenance services to clients in multiple industries, including aerospace and defense, agriculture, healthcare and many more. Services include concept/preliminary/detailed design, design, analysis, optimization, design for manufacturing and product costing. Currently, the company is focusing on additive manufacturing, and will be using its expertise to help companies manage product development projects from concept to launch.

“Additive manufacturing enables us to design and make innovative products with spectacular gains in performance and efficiency,” said Sudip Singh, Global Head, Engineering Service at Infosys. “Infosys has developed a rich knowledge base of AM design best practices, coupled with powerful design tools to analyse and optimise product designs, so that we can take full advantage of the flexibility that AM offers.”

Renishaw will be supporting Infosys by offering its network of Solutions Centers, which were recently implemented and are located across Europe, North America and Asia. When adopting a new technology, companies have to go through a time- and resource-consuming assessment process to understand the potential benefits of the technology, as well as to prove its effectiveness and reliability. Renishaw’s Solutions Centers make that process faster and less expensive by giving companies an environment in which to explore additive manufacturing.

Inside the Renishaw UK Innovation Center [Image: Renishaw]

Each Solution Center contains Incubator Cells, which are private development facilities that contain an industrial 3D printer and all the ancillary equipment required to set up, build and refine a new product design. Renishaw also offers pre-production capabilities, and expert operators and applications engineers are on hand to provide guidance. Manufacturers will also have access to a large range of machining, finishing, treatment and metrology processes.

“Whilst additive manufacturing can create complex geometries in a single process step, some level of finishing is generally required to produce functional products,” said Marc Saunders, Director – Global Solutions Centres at Renishaw. “Renishaw’s knowledge of metrology, machining and finishing processes can help customers to develop an integrated manufacturing solution for their innovative new product.”

Working together, Renishaw and Infosys plan to provide a full end-to-end product development service using metal additive manufacturing technology. Manufacturers that work with them can expect to have the entry barrier to additive manufacturing significantly lowered, and to receive expert guidance in how to make the technology part of their product development and manufacturing processes. The two companies are currently working on projects for customers located in Europe, Asia and North America.

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