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ZEISS Partners Microsoft To Accelerate Cloud Solutions For Efficient Manufacturing

ZEISS Partners Microsoft To Accelerate Cloud Solutions For Efficient Manufacturing

ZEISS Group and Microsoft Corp. has announced a multi-year strategic partnership to accelerate ZEISS’ transformation into a digital services provider that is embracing a cloud-first approach. By standardising its equipment and processes on Microsoft Azure as its preferred cloud platform, ZEISS will be able to provide its customers with enhanced digital experiences, address changing market needs more quickly and increase its productivity.

Leveraging Azure high-performance compute, AI, and IoT services, ZEISS will work with Microsoft to provide original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) with new quality management solutions, enable microchip manufacturers to build more powerful, energy-efficient microchips and deliver new digital healthcare solutions for improved clinical workflows, enhanced treatments, and device maintenance. Furthermore, ZEISS will create a seamless experience for its customers through one digital platform and manage all digital ZEISS products through one cloud-native platform to enhance continuous and agile product development.

Connected quality platform drives industrial efficiency

Initially, ZEISS will enable its solutions in the Industrial Quality & Research segment to be run on a connected quality platform built on Azure, allowing direct integration into the customer’s production process. The platform will help gain business insights and foster collaboration across domains, assets and processes that have traditionally been managed in siloed, proprietary systems.

ZEISS provides metrology and quality assurance solutions delivering meaningful information on parts dimensions, component behavior and defect detection. Real-time and large-scale analysis of data that is collected at all stages of the manufacturing process is key to efficient and effective quality assurance, tightly integrated with today’s and tomorrow’s IoT-enabled production processes.

Quality is also a key objective of a new ZEISS audit trail solution, initially focused on highly regulated manufacturing industries, such as medical technology which is particularly sensitive to quality assurance. The solution will allow customers to identify root causes and react quickly on quality issues to reduce down-time and keep productivity up. The software will allow customers to track, trace, visualize and analyze process and product data with the help of Azure AI services to identify failure root causes more quickly.

Data-driven healthcare solutions improve patient care

ZEISS Medical Technology provides comprehensive solutions for ophthalmic professionals and microsurgeons, consisting of devices, implants, consumables and services. Through the partnership, ZEISS will connect its medical technology to Microsoft’s cloud and leverage Azure AI and IoT technologies for new digital services such as improved clinical workflows, enhanced treatments, and device maintenance in a secure environment that enables compliance with regulatory requirements in the health industry. These solutions will help improve the quality of life of patients and drive progress, efficiency and access to healthcare.

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SLM Technology Opportunities For Healthcare Applications

SLM Technology Opportunities For Healthcare Applications

Find out why selective laser melting is the ideal production technique to integrate function into medical device components. Article by Gary Tang, SLM Solutions.

Medical device manufacturers are increasingly adopting metal additive manufacturing technology of SLM Solutions—the pioneer and one of the inventors of selective laser melting (SLM) technology—to produce a wide range of medical and dental parts.

In the healthcare sector, SLM technology is used to manufacture functional prototypes for the serial production of surgical implants, to manufacture new designs of instruments and equipment, or utilized for mass customization, i.e. the production of patient-matched implants and prostheses on a large scale. Dental prosthetic components, and orthopaedic, spine and cranio-maxillofacial implants are all common applications of the SLM technology, with clear benefits to patient outcomes. 

Selective laser melting is the ideal production technique to integrate function into medical device components, such as printing surgical implants with lattice structures for enhanced osseointegration and reduced stress shielding. Designs optimized for SLM process, and those custom to patients’ anatomy, often create complex, bionic geometries only able to be manufactured with selective laser melting. The technology thereby provides productivity and cost advantages to users.

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3D-Printed Medical Devices Can Remedy Supply Bottlenecks In Times Of Pandemic

3D-Printed Medical Devices Can Remedy Supply Bottlenecks In Times Of Pandemic

During the coronavirus pandemic, the 3D printing industry has successfully set up on-demand production facilities. Medical devices are subject to strict quality requirements and must conform to an array of legal regulations. In addition, there is a shortage of contract manufacturers able to fulfil these conditions. To mitigate the situation, TÜV SÜD has drawn up a range of checklists for production processes and is providing them to manufacturers. The company is also involved in numerous initiatives.

“When borders are closed to stop the spread of COVID-19, companies are forced to adjust their supply chains”, says Gregor Reischle, Head of Additive Manufacturing at TÜV SÜD. Additive manufacturing sites using 3D printers quickly reacted by concentrating resources and reducing the pressure on supply chains. 3D printing technology was one area of focus as an option for filling gaps in supply chains, most urgently concerning nasal swabs, ventilator components and personal protective equipment (PPE). At present, additive manufacturing is also boosting supplies of key products such as face visors, ventilator valves, filters, pressure sensors and X-ray tubes for applications ranging from general healthcare to high-precision personalised devices for even the most niche markets.

The benefits of additive manufacturing in a growing market

Even before the current pandemic, analysts had forecast that the market for additive manufacturing in the medical sector would grow to be worth at least US$ 20 billion. The market for AM in dentistry is set to reach US$ 9.7 billion by 2027 with impressive annual growth of 35 per cent.

Additive manufacturing offers the significant advantage of being able to close supply chain gaps by promptly ramping up capacities in series production when needed. The technology enables complex fully functional designs to be manufactured as a single piece, eliminating the need for subsequent assembly of individual parts. This can often result in higher-quality products. It also offers the capability of creating cost-effective prototypes while shortening development lead times. The pandemic has proved that both these methods can succeed – but also revealed the extensive array of device-specific provisions and regulatory requirements which apply to the products.

Medical devices must be high-quality, high-performance and safe. Proof of their compliance with numerous conformity and safety standards must be furnished before they can be placed on the market. The products may also be subject to further specific purpose-related requirements. Personal protective equipment must protect the wearer from particles, droplet aerosols and similar (Regulation (EU) No. 2016/425). Particularly rigorous conformity and safety standards apply to face masks and visors for use in hospitals and clinics. The necessary conformity assessment takes time, which is at a premium during a pandemic.

Checklists smooth the way for market access

Guidelines help manufacturers to implement regulatory requirements reliably and promptly. To assist them in this, TÜV SÜD has drawn up checklists for the main requirements addressing additive manufacturing, both general and specific, in key standards and regulations, and has been supplying these checklists free of charge to manufacturers in the coronavirus crisis. The lists are a boon for testing laboratories, healthcare specialists and the public. In addition, international standards organisations such as ASTM International and ISO provide free access to the relevant standards concerning the manufacture and testing of personal protective equipment and medical devices.

Additive manufacturing therefore is playing a useful role in battling the pandemic and is fostering willingness to innovate, which is impacting positively on the medical and healthcare sector in general. “There are many indications that fast, integrated supply chain networks with local production operations will become the new normal”, says Gregor Reischle. But the support provided by TÜV SÜD as an impartial third party is not confined to checklists. The technical service provider also develops specific tests for additive manufacturing operations which assure the quality and consistency of industrial additive series manufacturing. With the help of the tests, contract 3D printing companies can verify their conformity with the requirements set forth in the MDD and MDR.

Initiatives and projects for combating the pandemic

Governments and industry associations, multinational companies and start-ups are turning to platforms aimed at closing knowledge gaps in the industry. Siemens has provided its 3D printers to doctors, hospitals and manufacturers in need of development of medical devices or components. In addition, the company is networking its entire supply chain from the design and simulation phases through to production.

Singapore’s AM accelerator, National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Cluster (NAMIC), has set up a website containing a comprehensive list of COVID-19 resources for medical institutions, hospitals and medical device suppliers, which can then work with 3D printing hubs to design, optimise and print parts for vital healthcare equipment.

In Singapore, TÜV SÜD participated in an inter-agency collaboration between the Health Science Authority, Nanyang Technological University (NTU) and NAMIC, aimed at guiding manufacturers through testing requirements to fulfil them reliably and rapidly. Checklists for face visors and nasal swabs are available free of charge from NAMIC’s COVID-19 response platform.

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SESTO Robotics Launches Autonomous Mobile Robot For Material Handling In Space-Scarce Manufacturing

SESTO Robotics Launches Autonomous Mobile Robot For Material Handling In Space-Scarce Manufacturing

SESTO Robotics has launched SESTO Magnus – a bi-directional, compact autonomous mobile robot able to carry loads up to 300kg. Having the highest payload rating in the compact class, SESTO Magnus is designed to automate material handling processes in manufacturing, commercial and healthcare industries.

The global AGV & AMR market is expected to grow from USD 2.2 billion 2020 to USD 9.9 billion in 2023, according to a report by Interact Analysis. While COVID has delayed some automation projects, AMR revenue growth is predicted to double in 2021. The 2023 revenues of the AMR and AGV market is predicted to be nearly USD 600 million higher post-COVID19.

Specially built for tight navigation in space-scarce facilities, SESTO Magnus is able to autonomously travel through spaces as narrow as 0.9 metres wide while avoiding obstacles in its path. Its bi-directional same-speed capability means the autonomous mobile robot can reverse out of dead ends without doing a spot turn.

“With the world easing into the COVID-19 new normal, there is an accelerated urgency for manufacturers and non-manufacturing industries to quickly automate their processes while ensuring safe management measures such as staggered workforce or spilt team arrangements. SESTO Magnus’ small and low profile is designed with manufacturing, healthcare and commercial facilities in mind. Its intelligent software controls enable it to operate safely in narrow passageways and amongst people,” said Mr Ang Chor Chen, Chief Executive of SESTO Robotics.

Using a single mobile platform, SESTO Magnus is highly versatile and can be configured with limitless applications of autonomous material transportation. From components and parts in manufacturing, to laundry and meal services in hospitality and care facilities, to central sterile services and dispensaries in hospitals, the autonomous mobile robot can be fitted with various top module configurations, customisable to requirements.

Powered by SESTO’s proprietary user-friendly interface, operators can easily deploy SESTO Magnus for material transportation using a tablet or laptop. The robot provides high uptime of up to ten hours on a single charge and fast battery charging in three hours.

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3D Printing Metal Market To Be Worth $5.51 Billion By 2027

3D Printing Metal Market To Be Worth $5.51 Billion By 2027

The global 3D printing metal market size is projected to reach USD 5.51 billion by 2027, expanding at a CAGR of 27.8 percent from 2020 to 2027, according to a report by Grand View Research, Inc. Accelerating growth in the adoption of 3D printing for manufacturing of metal parts, especially for the aviation and healthcare industries, is the crucial factor driving the market.

Metal is a primary focus area in additive manufacturing (AM). Investments in metal AM have increased at a rapid pace in recent years. AM process offers exceptionally high-performance parts made from aluminum, steel, nickel, titanium, and others for demanding, high-value industries, such as medical and aerospace. These industries have observed faster penetration of AM on account of its ability to manufacture complex parts, decreased part weight, and material needs.

The 3D printing metal industry is witnessing growing demand from the aerospace and defense sectors owing to the rising capabilities to reduce aerospace part weight and focus toward improving overall efficiency, which otherwise proves costly and time consuming through traditional manufacturing process. The ability to print cheaper equipment in less time on demand is expected to be the key factor driving the industry.

The potential cost savings are stimulating the growth of the market in aerospace and defense. For instance, in November 2018, Lockheed Martin, U.S.-based global aerospace and defense company, announced that due to 3D printed parts, there was reduction in the price of its F-35 Full Mission Simulator (FMS) unit and has led to the savings of nearly USD 45.0 million.

North America accounted for the largest share in the utilisation of additive manufacturing metals for the aerospace and defense industry. Recently mandated policies of U.S. to increase the defense investment by significant levels are expected to bolster the regional market growth. Involvement of private players in space exploration projects is further expected to augment the market growth across the region.

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Additive Manufacturing: Outlook For 2019

Additive Manufacturing: Outlook For 2019

Asia Pacific Metalworking Equipment News is pleased to feature an article provided by Terrence Oh, Senior Vice President (Asia Pacific) of EOS Singapore on the future of additive manufacturing (AM) in APAC.


“When the going gets tough, the tough gets going,” aptly describes the manufacturing sector within APAC this year and even the next.

The manufacturing industry has experienced a steady growth within the ASEAN region especially during the first-half of 2018. The AM market is set to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of around 27 percent between 2018 (US$1.73 billion) and 2023 (US$ 5.66 billion). In fact, AM in APAC is expected to have the highest CAGR due to the region having the fastest growth for automotive and printed electronics sectors. This offers more opportunities for AM adoption.

As the manufacturing industry continues to ride the economic wave, the following are some predictions and trends we can expect in AM, also known as industrial 3D printing for 2019 and beyond:

AM Presents Another Opportunity For Economic And Productivity Growth

  • Rising protectionism and trade conflicts will have an impact on global supply chain to move toward decentralisation and regionalisation of manufacturing.
  • The manufacturing sector in Asia is at risk of incurring high operating costs if trade tensions continue due to higher trade tariffs.
  • As such, the digitalisation of manufacturing and AM will serve as an enabler for distributed manufacturing. This is a good opportunity for companies to tap on AM to grow and transform their businesses.
  • Businesses that adopt smart technologies like AM to 3D-print parts and components are able to reduce production costs, processes, and time through part redesign and integration. This also makes manufacturing domestically more practical than importing from abroad.

Continued Innovation And Adoption Of AM Across Industries

  • Aerospace: AM is reported to have a global economic impact of US$ 250 billion by 2025 if industries continue to increase its adoption, with the aerospace and defence industry taking the lead. Moreover, the global aerospace AM market is reportedly expected to register a CAGR close to 22.3 percent during the forecast period of 2018-2023. This also presents an opportunity for talent growth and development.
  • Healthcare: AM has already made its name in the healthcare industry due to its ability to custom-make 3D-printed prosthetics based on the individual’s needs. With the aging population, this trend is set to continue due to an expected increase in demand for personalised healthcare and treatments, as well as customized 3D-printed medical devices.
  • Automotive: The industry has embraced AM to decrease production lead time, increase efficiency in logistics management, and ensure effective use of components/materials. This trend is set to continue with. Currently, the global automotive 3D printing market is predicted to be valued at over US$ 8 billion by 2024.
  • Tooling: Together with robotics, tooling is will be one of the main industry drivers within the AM market in APAC from 2018 to 2023.

More Talent Development In AM

  • AM usage in various industries are increasing but there continues to be a gap in skills due to the niche expertise required.
  • If this is not addressed sooner, this could jeopardise the growth within the AM industry and eventually, other sectors that deploy AM.
  • To keep up with digital disruption and the need for business transformation to keep pace, more will be invested into educating future and current workforce on AM.
  • Launched in September 2018, EOS partnered with the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Cluster’s (NAMIC) to develop the Joint Industry Innovation Programme. Targeted at advancing 3D printing capabilities in the aerospace sector, the training programme aims to produce specialists skilled in AM technology and design of parts. The programme addresses the need to reskill and upskill the current workforce as AM adoption increases.



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