In August, binder jet 3D printing leader the ExOne Company (Nasdaq: XONE) reported a year-on-year revenue fall of 27% for their Q2 2020 earnings report, due to difficult market conditions and uncertainties about the future resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, which also led to employee terminations, furloughs, and pay rate reductions. But this news came with a little optimism as well, thanks to a record backlog, increased liquidity, and an increasing interest in 3D printing. The company’s CEO, John Hartner, said at the time that the company believes its “binder jetting technology is in a sweet spot, as manufacturers look for smart and sustainable supply chain solutions.” It seems he was right, as last month the company reported record growth in revenue and users by Q3 2020.
The Pennsylvania company excels in metal and sand binder jet 3D printing, and offers engineering and design consulting and on-demand production of important parts as well. It’s clearly working to improve and automate its processes, as this summer it introduced the new Scout App for industrial print monitoring and launched a new Sand 3D Printing Network, which is powered by over 40 industrial binder jet systems. Now, ExOne just announced that it’s working to increase the productivity of its industrial S-Series sand 3D printers with a new accessory: a desanding station for its popular S-Max and S-Max Pro systems.
“Following on the heels of the ExOne Scout app, our new desanding station is another step forward as we work to deliver smart, complete and sustainable 3D printing solutions for our customers. We have an exciting new portfolio of automation solutions in development and on the way for our industrial sand and metal 3D printers,” Hartner said in a press release.
The new semi-automatic desanding station will be installed on all new, or prior model, ExOne S-Max and S-Max Pro sand 3D printers. The accessory’s two vacuum-powered wings go on either side of the job box to help remove any excess sand that comes up as the build platform rises and operators remove completed parts. ExOne says it can improve throughput speed by up to 50%, in addition to lowering the costs that come with removing cores, sand molds, and other parts from the job box.
ExOne also says that this new accessory makes recycling recycling easier, as capturing used sand for reuse is simplified with the desanding station; this also helps keep the production environment cleaner. The desanding station can be used with printers that are processing Cerabeads, a premium ceramic foundry sand, and furan and CHP binders with coarse or fine grain silica sands.
Swiss iron foundry Eisengiesserei Mezger AG, which is part of Camponovo Holding AG, is already seeing success with ExOne’s new desanding station.
“It was very important to us that ExOne supplied us with an almost completely automated printing system,” explained Silvio Camponovo, the CEO of Eisengiesserei Mezger AG. “Switzerland is a country with high salaries, so it is worthwhile to invest in automation technology.”
Mezger produces roughly 2,500 metric tons of cast parts annually, so it’s important that any accessory it uses during the process, like ExOne’s desanding station, can hold up under the work. The company is also pairing this new accessory with several other features that make production easier, such as the Jobmatic automatic job box replacement function and a Fluidmatic material supply system.
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