Siemens is intensifying its cooperation with the EDAG Group as a leading global independent engineering company for the automotive industry, in order to further promote industrial applications of additive manufacturing (AM) and to make engineering and production processes more efficient. Based on many years of successful project-specific collaboration in factory and production planning, in the field of engineering the innovative "NextGenerationSpaceframe 2.0" project is the clear result of this successful cooperation. For more information see the IDTechEx report on 3D Printing Materials 2019-2029.
The "NextGenerationSpaceframe 2.0" intelligent modular system features a combination of bionically designed and additive manufactured nodes and high-strength, energy-absorbing aluminum extrusion profiles. The concept offers extremely flexible manufacturing, enabling it to support the growing number of vehicle derivatives while still taking economic aspects into account.
The collaboration has now been extended by a seamless digital engineering process chain for AM resulting in the implementation of a use case. The project result was led by EDAG and Siemens together with Constellium, Fraunhofer IAPT, Concept Laser and BLM. It shows a flexibly manufactured lightweight aluminum structure - "NextGenSpaceframe 2.0" as an automotive use case for Siemens.
Key features of NextGenSpaceframe 2.0:
- Shorter "time-to-market" for additive manufactured prototypes and small series components for automotive or industrial applications due to a digital engineering process chain.
- Industrie 4.0 philosophy: combination of 3D-printed aluminum car body nodes with high-strength, energy-absorbing aluminum extrusion profiles combined as highly flexible "on-demand" manufacturing with 3D bending and jigless joining technology for automotive and industry applications.
- Calculations and actual tests demonstrated that the crash areas can absorb the crash energy as predicted and the AM node did not fail structurally.
- The costs for AM could be reduced by optimizing the process and minimizing the support structure.
- The seamless engineering data process chain has contributed to significantly shorter development and lead times, as well as ensuring a higher level of development maturity.
The know-how provided by the EDAG Group in the field of production processes made a significant contribution to the collaboration. Tailored future factory concepts have been created, enabling the components developed for additive manufacturing to also be produced efficiently in larger batches and transferred to actual series production. An important factor in the success of the project is the competence that Siemens brings for factory automation and digitalization with knowledge from their own manufacturing applications for gas turbines (Finspang and Worchester UK) as well as the know-how provided by EOS GmbH in the field of process technology of additive manufacturing.
Siemens presents the first steps in the process for successfully implementing this transformation using a digital twin. As well as the actual printing, this includes the industrialization of the entire AM production chain with all subsequent process steps. In future, scalable modules will be created to pave the way from small series through to mass production.
Source and top image: Siemens