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Author Archives: Mark Mehler

  1. How 3D Printing is Shifting the Aerospace Industry

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    AMTEC – Applied Manufacturing Technologies has been working with 3D printing technology for many years. We always look for ways to improve and help our clients stay ahead of the competition. Our company offers a full range of aerospace product printing services, including process development and prototyping, tooling, and fixtures.

    Engineers have been using 3D printing technology for several years to create prototypes and models of aircraft parts. However, the industry is shifting to 3D printing to produce final parts.

    3D printing offers many benefits over traditional manufacturing methods. We’ll discuss how 3D printing works and look at some ways that 3D printing is changing aerospace industry.

    Aerospace 3D printing

    What is 3D printing and how does it work

    As its name implies, 3D printing is the process of creating three-dimensional objects from a digital file. The printer reads the file and lays down successive layers of material until the object is complete.

    Each layer is a thinly sliced horizontal cross-section of the object. 3D printers can print in a variety of materials, including metals, plastics, and composites. Aerospace parts are typically made from aluminum, titanium, or other strong metals.

    According to PCMag, 3D printers can create physical objects from digital data/CAD files. The data is stored in a computer language, which tells the printer how to create the object. 3D printers are devices that produce three-dimensional objects by depositing material in layers. People have been using this technology for a while, but it is only recently that people have started using it in the aerospace industry as more materials are becoming available for 3D printing process

    How 3D printing is being used in the aerospace industry

    The aerospace industry is under pressure to reduce costs and increase efficiency. One way aerospace companies do this is by using 3D printing to produce aircraft parts.

    3D printing in the aerospace industry makes airplane components and sub-components. 3D printing in the aerospace sector has several possible applications, including:

    • Developing new materials for aircraft
    • Producing parts for aerospace vehicles
    • Developing new aerospace technologies

    Benefits of using 3D printing in the aerospace industry

    The International Journal of Aviation, Aeronautics, and Aerospace notes that some advantages of 3D printing in the aerospace industry are that it can lead to a greater optimization towards strength and weight, a bigger weight reduction, depletion in various components or parts, and a shorter machining time for manufacturing. Additionally, customization is often less expensive and requires fewer workers.

    Other benefits of using aerospace 3D printing include:

    • Faster product development
    • Lighter weight & Higher strength materials
    • Improved product quality
    • Easier manufacturing process for aircraft parts

    The convenience of 3D printing for manufacturing companies of aircraft parts

    With 3D printing, aerospace companies can create prototypes and test them before moving on to full-scale production. This allows for a more efficient design process and shorter lead times. This means that products can be created faster and with less waste.

    3D printing in the aerospace industry is becoming more popular because it has a lot of benefits. 3D printed parts are often lighter than traditional ones, saving fuel costs. Additionally, there is no need for expensive molds or tooling, so the upfront investment cost is lower. These factors make 3D printing an attractive option for aerospace manufacturers.

    The future of 3D printing in the aerospace industry

    Aerospace 3D printing is expected to grow rapidly. This technology has many potential applications, and new ones are always being developed. For example, NASA is experimenting with 3D printing for space vehicle components. According to Machine Design, the organization uses technology to fabricate parts.

    As the technology continues to develop, there will be even more impressive applications for 3D printing in the aerospace industry. The aerospace industry is rapidly transitioning to 3D printing for the production of final parts.

    There are many benefits to using 3D printing, including faster time to market, reduced waste, and lower costs. In addition, aerospace 3D printing offers greater design flexibility and the ability to produce complex parts that are impossible with traditional manufacturing methods.

    If you’re interested in learning more about how 3D printing can benefit your business, contact us or request a quote. We’ll be happy to discuss how this revolutionary technology can help you achieve your manufacturing goals.

  2. Automation Systems

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    Automation systems are increasingly important in manufacturing, offering a combination of technologies and machinery to improve production speed, quality, consistency, and volume. At Applied Manufacturing Technologies (AMTEC), our custom automation solutions integrate with existing systems to enhance productivity and reduce costs and waste. From die-cutting and welding to printing and marking, we offer robust, automated machinery that improves operational functionality.

    Automation Systems

    AMTEC’s Automation Machines

    We manufacture custom semi- and fully automated industrial automation systems to handle multiple manufacturing processes, including:

    • Robotic part handling
    • Assembly & custom machine
    • Die cutting
    • Hot stamping
    • Heat transfer
    • Pad printing
    • Laser etching, marking, engraving, and cutting
    • Conveyors
    • Corona and plasma treating
    • Ultrasonic welding & heat staking

    Filter Die Cutting & Ultrasonic Welding Machines

    Die cutting machines use a metal die to punch out identically shaped components from materials like sheet metal, plastic, and paper. Our machines handle up to 1,200 PPH, with capabilities including:

    • Auto-feeding from the filter roll
    • Die cutting
    • Transfering on the plastic part
    • Holding the filter material on a part with a vacuum before welding
    • Ultrasonic welding (post die cutting), which bonds thermoplastic parts together with heat created by high-frequency energy

    Pad Printing Machines

    In pad printing, a silicone pad presses against an ink-covered plate etched with the desired image, then moves and presses again to transfer that 2D image to a 3D component. Pad printing is ideal for parts that are challenging for printing, such as medical devices, syringes, bottles, and car parts. Our machinery is fully automated for consistent quality and low overhead, with a 900-PPH-capacity process including:

    • Automatic, robotic parts loading from a molding machine
    • Parts inspection
    • Transfer to the next process for final assembly

    Laser Marking Machines

    Laser marking uses a highly controlled laser beam to add permanent writing, symbols, or designs to materials’ surfaces. It encompasses different techniques like marking, etching, engraving, drilling, cutting, micro-machining, and scribing. With a capacity of up to 240 PPH, our semi-automated machines feature:

    • 60″ x 120″ X-Y tables accommodating travel of 30″ x 60″
    • Precision X-Y motion
    • Highly repeatable results
    • Permanent laser marking, including excellent dark contrast
    • Loading capacity of 48 stainless steel panels per cycle
    • Easy changeover
    • Low operating costs
    • User-friendly operation

    Robots in Manufacturing

    At 900 PPH, our robots accelerate workflow by streamlining repetitive tasks requiring precision, endurance, and speed. Automation with robots offers unmanned, fully automated operation 24/7. Common tasks for robots include material handling and removal, part loading, and palletization. Our customized robots featuring six-up end-of-arm-tooling include:

    • Pick and place machines with dedicated tooling and fixed motion along three axes
    • Robots with replaceable tooling and flexible, programmable motion along six axes

    Machine Automation Features

    We offer additional features to expand automation tooling systems and controls, including:

    Human–Machine Interface (HMI) Touch Screens

    We can integrate these platforms with an internal or external electrical enclosure, and offer workers user-friendly communication, data collection, and control over automated systems.

    Electrical Control Panels

    Control panels monitor and direct machine system operations through relays, sensors, controllers, timers, and starters. We offer electrical panels, input/output modules for machine control, and electrical enclosures with safety tags and locks.

    Vision Inspection Systems

    Automated vision inspection systems perform quality assurance (QA) or part sorting checks for defects, operational issues, contamination, safety seals, and product and package matching, with printed shipping labels to avoid human error.

    Positioning Stages

    Positioning stages place parts in exact positions for each operation during production. Our precision X-Y tables offer accurate, repeatable positioning for consistent results. The super precision four-axes stage provides tight tolerances and superior accuracy.

    Benefits of Automation

    Automation systems pay for themselves many times over in:

    • Enhanced monitoring and data. Automated systems provide ongoing production oversight and data collection to inform and improve processes, often through mobile-friendly controls.
    • Improved efficiency and productivity. Working at a steady speed, often unattended 24/7, automation increases output.
    • Worker safety. Robots are ideally suited to dangerous jobs as they aren’t affected by noise or hazards.
    • Higher profits. Automated systems can work harder for longer, cutting back on labor costs and minimizing human error to save on materials. Also, higher throughput equates to lower manufacturing costs per unit.
    • Reliable quality. The hallmarks of automated systems are consistent, repeatable, accurate results unmarred by worker error.
    • Shorter lead times. Less downtime, expanded capabilities, and reduced outsourcing mean products are ready sooner.
    • Straightforward integration. Automation systems should integrate easily and completely with existing operations. Automation also incorporates multiple processes within a single system and provides versatility for technological upgrades.
    • Waste reduction. With improved accuracy and quality comes reduced opportunities for defects and wasted time and materials.

    Why Partner With AMTEC for Automation Systems?

    As an ISO 9001:2015-registered automation machine manufacturer, AMTEC offers proven experience and commitment to customer satisfaction. We supply customers with cost-effective automation solutions to achieve their production goals and exceed expectations. Contact us today to learn more about our customized automation systems or to request a quote.

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