Go green with AT #1: Advanced Manufacturing Technology
What is Advanced Manufacturing Technology?
EU’s Advanced Technology for Industry project (ATI) defines advanced manufacturing technology as encompassing the use of innovative technology to improve products or processes that drive innovation. It covers two types of technologies:
- Process technology that is used to produce any of other advanced technologies. Such process technology typically relates to production apparatus, equipment and procedures for the manufacture of specific materials and components.
- Process technology that is based on robotics, automation technology or computer-integrated manufacturing. Such process technology includes measuring, control and testing devices for machines, machine tools and various areas of automated or IT-based manufacturing technology.
Read more about it on their site here.
A common exampel: 3D printing
A common advanced manufacturing technology is 3D printing – also known as additive manufacturing.
In short, 3D printing adds material instead of subtract material as traditionally has been the main method in manufacturing. It is often used in machine tool manufacturing, automotive, medical industry and robitics manufacturing as examples.
TWI ltd outlines 3 sorts of 3D printing technology:
- Sintering is a technology where the material is heated, but not to the point of melting, to create high resolution items. Metal powder is used for direct metal laser sintering while thermoplastic powders are used for selective laser sintering.
- Melting methods of 3D printing include powder bed fusion, electron beam melting and direct energy deposition, these use lasers, electric arcs or electron beams to print objects by melting the materials together at high temperatures.
- Stereolithography utilises photopolymerization to create parts. This technology uses the correct light source to interact with the material in a selective manner to cure and solidify a cross section of the object in thin layers.
Read more about the sorts and further categories of 3D printing in this article by TWI ltd– as well as a brief history of the 3D printing development.
How can 3D printing contribute to green sustainability?
3D printing has potential to contribute to green sustianability in several ways. By adding material instead of subtracting material it can reduce waste in production. Furthermore, it can reuse material in production, more and more of the materia used in 3D printing is namely produced by recycled materials. In the shift away from heavy and location based raw material in manufacturing, it is possible to set up production in closer proximity or local areas – also potentially contributing to reduced emission in transportation.
More specifically, all3DP has listed 7 ways that 3D printing can help your company become greener. Read the full article here.