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Volkmann on Formnext 2021

Advanced Powder Handling in the Additive Manufacturing industries – Vacuum Conveying and more around 3D-Printing

At last, another FORMNEXT in Frankfurt! We have made good use of the long waiting time between shows and have presented our latest ideas & equipment for handling metal powders in the pre- & post-processing of 3D printing.

pic 1: seminar by Thomas Ramme @ TCT Introducing Stage

There are various powder handling tasks around Additive Manufacturing: Feeding the machines with new powders, emptying them, and recycling the powder with sieving and combining this with various printers (multi-machine layouts). This all requires very flexible powder handling systems featuring Vacuum Conveying as the best transfer method for connecting processes.
Volkmann presented this not only on their booth but shared the deep knowledge of almost 50 years of metal powder handling on various events and seminars around the show.

pic 2: basic concept of extracting unfused powder from build-boxes
pic 3: controlled and dust-free filling and emptying of larger containers
pic 4: Feeding a 3D printer with new powders, emptying them, and recycling the powder with sieving

The well attended TCT introduction stage platform (pic 1) gave a thorough overview about the various applications in the AM industries. Starting with the basic concept of extracting unfused powder from build-boxes (pic 2) or unpacking stations, the lecture turned into a more in-depth analysis of the material flow. As an example, Pic 3 and 4 are illustrating the importance of a controlled and dust-free filling and emptying of larger containers which come more and more into focus whilst handling larger amounts of metal powder.

Furthermore, the following topics were shown in the seminars as well as on the booth:

  • recovery and sieving of metal powders (PowTReX and other)
  • fully automatic depowdering of build boxes (see also IDAM below) at BMW and GKN
  • reconditioning, drying and mixing of used and virgin metal powders
  • docking-/split- valve, cone valve
  • customised engineering: e.g. thorough powder handling for multi-machine layouts

Additional information:

pic 5: For more details on the IDAM research project: “Industrialisation and Digitalisation of Additive Manufacturing”:
www.ilt.fraunhofer.de/en/press/press-releases/press-release-2019/press-release-2019-4-17.html

Recorded seminar session on AM metal powder handling: https://uk.volkmann.info/2nd-webinar-powtech-virtual-talks-metal-powder-handling-in-the-additive-manufacturing-industries-am/

Recorded seminar session on explosion protection, powder handling and ATEX: https://uk.volkmann.info/powtech-virtual-talks/

To learn more about the latest advances from various research and development projects, please contact us.


Picture index:

Pic 1 to 4: Dipl.-Ing. B.Eng.(Hons.) Thomas Ramme from Volkmann GmbH, Soest shares some of his experience from more than 26 years of Vacuum Conveying and metal powder handling.

Pic 5: Insight into a full-scale running de-powdering and re-conditioning station; already proven under real production conditions (IDAM).

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