Sustainable Additive Manufacturing: an alternative to protect our planet
Technologies known as additive manufacturing or 3D printing are having a big impact on the fight against global warming. It is a manufacturing system that brings economic and sustainability benefits, since the same material is used for each part, and does not generate waste.
In engineering, this type of manufacturing assists during the design stage, helping to test the feasibility of the design through prototypes which, in addition to faithfully reflecting the final version of the product, minimise the design, manufacturing, installation or maintenance times. In short, the use of additive manufacturing for prototypes increases the efficiency of the project, with efficiency in the production process understood to mean achieving the goals with the minimum use of resources.
How does Sustainable Additive Manufacturing work?
Based on a 3D model developed using BIM methodology during the engineering design phase, a geometry adaptation of this is made, in order to proceed to its 3D printing. Once printed, Augmented Reality technology is used as a digital enabler to superimpose the digital 3D model on the physical 3D model of the mock-up.
A travThrough augmented reality, it is possible to visualise the final project before it is built and equip it with IoT, including additional information on each of the elements of the mock-up. This will provide us with real-time data on each of the elements of the industrial plant once the plant is in production.
The management and analysis of the data provided by the smart model can help detect incidents in the activity, with a minimum response time These incidents may be related to poor resource management, for example: energy losses, excessive water consumption or waste generation. Accessing all this information from a single point and in an easy and intuitive way, translates into savings in time and resources, generating a strong positive impact on the environment and contributing to real energy efficiency.
The results obtained in industrial applications developed with additive manufacturing and augmented reality have helped position our clients as leaders in innovation and sustainability in their respective fields.
Whatare your strategic goals?
- Implementing the use of smart models during the plant operating phase in monitoring and control tasks.
- Replicating the digital twin of the plant by means of a set of solutions that increase the efficiency of plant operation, among them, the smart model.
- Centralising all plant information in a single point.
- Connecting additive manufacturing technology with the new industrial revolution.
- Establishing ourselves as leaders in the manufacturing of smart industrial models.
Whatis the context of its implementation?
- Climate change is driving companies to invest in environmentally-friendly solutions.
- Digital transformation and Industry 4.0. are now hot topics, and it is the right time to implement sustainable technologies.
- The industrial sector is booming and investments in this ecosystem are on the rise.
- The energy and oil & gas sector, where our technology has great potential, has never been particularly affected by specific crises, so it is a reliable sector on which to focus our efforts. In addition, these are sectors where priority is given to the correct use of resources.
What is the added value of this proposal?
- High positive impact on the environment. Smart models provide large quantities of data that, when correctly analysed, generate useful information in real time for efficient plant management. Thanks to this type of technology, processes can be managed from a single point in order to detect energy losses, measure water consumption, waste generation, etc. Thus, problems can be prevented or solved with a minimum response time and with far less environmental consequences than if this type of technology was not used.
- Economic and sustainability benefits. During the additive manufacturing of the models, the same material is used for each component and no waste is generated. Furthermore, by making prototypes, possible errors can be detected and the design can be optimised before the project is carried out. This saves time, money and resources.
- Exploit the potential of additive manufacturing and augmented reality technologycurrently more related to marketing, advertising or tourism businesses, in the industrial field. The technological breakthroughs of the last decades are consuming a large amount of resources, which is detrimental to the sustainability of planet earth. It is a fact that the population will continue to grow and its welfare will continue to be supported by technology, which is why technological breakthroughs must be focused on environmental sustainability. As mentioned above, the application of these new technologies, in this case additive manufacturing and augmented reality, to the industrial field will contribute to making these activities more sustainable.
- Digitalise plant information and display it both in interactive physical format (3D model) and in digital format (augmented reality). This leads to savings in terms of physical documents, as everything is digitalised and all the information is ad hoc.
- Analysis of data and critical plant processes to detect opportunities for improvement.
- Check the possibilities of applying augmented reality to improve the visualisation of processes or troubleshooting.
- Adaptation of 3D model polygons for printing.
- Development of an app to display all processes, documents and information in general through augmented reality technology on the model.
- Deployment of the model and associated electronics.
- Customisation of the app and connection to a common data source.
Solutions and conclusions applicable to their use
- Industry 4.0 involves the application on an industrial scale of automated systems with special emphasis on manufacturing processes and the interconnection between production units, thus creating digital production networks that facilitate the acceleration of production and the more efficient use of resources.
- This is an application that can change industrial maintenance, as the new digital enablers have a positive impact on the environment. In sectors such as energy or oil&gas, two of the most powerful, it can be a real revolution, providing unprecedented versatility in maintenance tasks.
- The achievement of prototypes through additive manufacturing makes them more faithful to reality, which is reflected in error minimisation, design optimisation and acceleration of design and manufacturing, inspection, installation, or maintenance processes in industries. Saving money and resources.
Haven’t you heard about the latest Sustainable Additive Manufacturing project we carried out for our client ENAGÁS? Find out all the details here
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