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ABCorp Adds Inspection & Dyeing to HP 3D Printing Service

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Manufacturing services company American Banknote Corporation (ABCorp) works in the payment sector and has been around since 1795, back when it was called the American Bank Note Company and was tasked by the First Bank of the United States with developing a counterfeit-resistant currency for a country that was still pretty new. The company now designs, manufactures, and personalizes secure products like contactless credit cards, marketing materials, and gift cards made from environmentally friendly materials, and using HP’s Multi Jet Fusion technology to 3D print detailed prototypes and parts, with an emphasis on fraud prevention and manufacturing processes with a zero error tolerance. Now, it’s adding automated inspection and dyeing capabilities to its range of 3D printing services.

“The application for 3D printing is nothing short of a sea change – rapid, full color prototyping and even short-run, highly detailed parts manufacturing. Imagine it, and 3D technology can make it happen,” ABCorp states on its website.

“ABCorp offers the latest generation of HP Multi Jet Fusion technology, with a wide array of available materials and finishing, all in a highly secure envelope.”

During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, ABCorp began using 3D printing to fabricate face shields for front line workers, and found that it had plenty of use for the technology beyond that application. So in January of this year, ABCorp opened its Boston-based Additive Manufacturing Center (AMC), which forms part of the company’s 125,000 square-foot facility and houses several HP Jet Fusion 5210 printers and Jet Fusion 580 full-color systems, as well as AMT’s PostPro3D smoothing system. ABCorp established the AMC in order to support its contract manufacturing services to the payment, authentication, and access sector, and is able to produce 220,000 end-use production parts a week out of HP’s 3D High Reusability PA 12, BASF Ultrasint TPU01, HP 3D High Reusability PP enabled by BASF, and full-color HP 3D High Reusability CB PA 12 materials.

Complete end-to-end Jet Fusion 5200 solution.

Now, ABCorp’s AMC includes automated inspection capabilities from 3D scanner manufacturer SolutionIX and industrial dyeing capabilities from Girbau, which provides professional laundry solutions for the global industrial, commercial and vended sectors. Specifically, ABCorp added the SolutionIX C500 with GeoMagic ControlX software and Girbau DY130 system to its offering, as it believes that these new capabilities will make it possible to better calibrate part tolerances, as well as offer a more customized end product to its clients.

The automated SolutionIX C500 is a structured light 3D scanner for small- to medium-sized objects, with a high scan accuracy of .01 mm for the purposes of inspection and reverse engineering. The user-friendly scanner features dual 5.0 MP cameras for high resolution and excellent data quality, in addition to active synchronization, detachable scanner head, automatic calibration, color texture mapping, and the TA300+, an optimized 3-axis turntable that can hold up to 10 kg of weight.

Girbau’s DY130 is an automated dyeing system that was designed specifically to dye post-process 3D printed parts, and as it only requires half the investment that most other automatic dyeing equipment needs, the impact on cost per part is minimal. The system is said to deliver consistent colors for parts 3D printed with HP’s Jet Fusion technology. As Impact Systems Engineering explains it, the system is pretty easy to use—you just load the parts, choose a program, and push start, and the DY130 uses a blend of colorant, water levels and temperature, and rotation action to automatically dye and rinse the parts.

“Similar to qualifying an injection mould, we can dial in the MJF 5210 process to a customer’s needs through printing, inspecting and modifying the model and deliver unparalleled part quality in a highly secure environment. And dyeing is an industry staple for MJF parts but can be messy and inconsistent. The Girbau DY130 allows us to offer an automated dyeing system with superior and consistent quality at a competitive price,” said Neil Glazebrook, VP of 3D Solutions at ABCorp.

According to serial blogger and professional freelancer Andy Sowards, financial technology, or Fintech, companies are “making big moves in the digital payments sphere,” so why shouldn’t digital manufacturing play a part as well? I haven’t heard of much 3D printing in this sector, though I’m certainly not an expert, but perhaps with a big company like ABCorp adopting the technology, others will quickly follow suit.

(Source: TCT Magazine)

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