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Manufacturing For Humanity: How 3D Printing Is Saving Lives

Manufacturing For Humanity: How 3D Printing Is Saving Lives

By Mr Santhosh Nagaraju, Senior Technical Specialist- Virtual Manufacturing and Costing, Hexagon & Santosh Ner, Senior Manager, BD, Virtual Manufacturing and Costing, Hexagon

Santhosh Nagaraju, Senior Technical Specialist- Virtual Manufacturing and Costing, Hexagon

Santhosh Nagaraju, Senior Technical Specialist- Virtual Manufacturing and Costing, Hexagon

Sohail Akhter (not his real name), 50, from Bangladesh, was suffering from a rare and complex form of cancer, where a malignant tumour had destroyed his sternum (chest bone), along with 8 ribs on both his left and right. This deadly tumour was so large it also affected his pericardium, which is the outer layer of his heart and the lungs. (source)

Desperate, he searched far and wide for a doctor and hospital who would treat him, only to be let down because no one dared to operate on him: if the cancer were to be removed, there was no way to repair the damage or indeed, replace his sternum and ribs– both which were essential for him to breathe normally. Without them, he would be dependent on mechanical ventilation for the rest of his life.

Finally, however, he went to India, where at a renowned hospital,  the oncology team there found the solution: they would remove the tumour entirely, and replace Sohail’s sternum and ribs with a custom-built 3D-printed implant made of titanium.

Custom-made before the surgery with CT scan images, a replica of his original chest bone and ribs was fixed with a new drilling technique and titanium wire. The replica, made with a revolutionary ‘honeycomb’ technology out of titanium powder and liquid titanium, is strong, durable, and lightweight, and has lower risk of rejection from the body.

Today, Sohail is recovered and able to breathe, eat and move normally after physiotherapy.

Indeed, manufacturing has come a long way since the days of the factory line. Today, manufacturing is building the future, and additive manufacturing (AM), or what we more commonly call 3D printing, is fast becoming the most exciting development in the sector.

With endless potential uses in the medical, aerospace, and automotive industries, amongst many more, Sohail’s story is but one of many.

3D printing in healthcare

One such case study of Hexagon’s end-to-end AM solutions for healthcare is with a renowned hospital in Bangalore, in the 3D printing of custom joint replacements and implants.

Today, many standard joint replacements repeatedly fail to last and provide comfort to the patient, due to the fact that everyone’s body is different and there is no one-size-fits-all. With AM, custom-made 3D printed implants give more flexibility, comfort and life to patients. (source)

This is but one of many potential uses of AM in healthcare; AM can be used to manufacture highly-specialised, highly-complex medical equipment with unerring accuracy, for example. Not only that, doctors and surgeons can use 3D printed prototypes of patients’ organs, tissues or body for research, analysis, prototyping or even surgery preparation, thus enabling 3D visualisation for improved accuracy and reducing error.

For example, in India, doctors are creating 3D models of patients’ organs or bodies from CT scan data to prepare and more accurately perform complicated surgeries. (source). In one instance, doctors created a 3D model of a patient’s pelvis for a particularly tricky hip replacement procedure. The model was created in a matter of days, and enabled the surgeon to plan well ahead and more carefully before performing surgery, thus cutting down surgery time and errors.

MI_Rendering_SimufactAdditive_Bike_i2

MI_Rendering_SimufactAdditive_Bike_i2

Another use of 3D printing in healthcare is in new surgical tools and techniques. New biocompatible medical 3D printing materials have now allowed new developments in the surgery experience; 3D printing is used to print sterilizable fixation trays, contouring templates, and implant sizing models, helping surgeons reduce time and increase accuracy of complex procedures. (source)

3D printing is also showing potential in the manufacturing of affordable and customised prostheses, corrective insoles and orthoses– which currently are incredibly expensive and take a long time to produce.

In terms of medical research, 3D printing can also be used to quickly and affordably manufacture working prototypes for new inventions. In fact, experts are saying that 3D printing is now becoming a synonym for rapid prototyping– it is easy to use and relatively low-cost, thus revolutionising product development.

It has been reported, too, that a majority of some of the top medical device companies in the world have been using 3D printing to create accurate prototypes of medical devices, as well as jigs and fixtures. (source)

AM leads the charge into the future of manufacturing

To be sure, additive manufacturing is gaining incredible traction.

In 2019, an Ernst & Young report found that AM has attracted such exposure that almost two-thirds (65%) of businesses they surveyed have now tried applying the technology in business — nearly triple from 2016. Valued at more than USD7 billion as of 2017, the AM industry is expected to reach USD 35.6 billion by 2023 worldwide, with expenditure on AM crossing USD3.6 billion in 2021 in the Asia-Pacific region. (source)

3D printing in healthcare, in particular, was valued at USD1,036.58 million in 2020, and is projected to reach USD5,846.74 million by 2030, growing at a CAGR of 20% from 2021 to 2030 (source)

Already we are seeing how productivity gains can be achieved with advanced technologies in the AM space. For example, Hexagon’s new Generative Design Solution cuts AM design processes by up to 80 per cent-– as the MSC Apex Generative Design produces stress-optimised, 3D printable designs automatically to reduce design cycles from days to hours. (source)

In fact, productivity improvements may be up to 80 per cent compared to classic topology optimisation. The software produces a part design that is ready for additive manufacturing (DfAM) within a few hours – a fraction of time usually required – making reliable additive manufacturing more cost efficient and accessible.

MI_Rendering_SimufactAdditive_MBJsetter_Description

MI_Rendering_SimufactAdditive_MBJsetter_Description

In MSC Apex Generative Design, the designer only needs to specify the boundary conditions and design objectives. Multiple lightweight design candidates that explore the possibilities of the design space will be produced that provide optimal stress distribution and minimise weight.

This enhances the creative process, so designers have more time to optimise the product’s concept and integrate additional features that add value. The software’s intelligent smoothing technology ensures that every candidate has a perfect finish that is ready for print.

In addition, solutions in advanced simulation processes continue to aid the growth of AM. For example, Simufact Additive is a powerful and scalable software solution for the simulation of metal-based additive manufacturing processes, which enables smooth metal 3D printing with high dimensional accuracy and quality.

There is also Digimat-AM, which is a solution of Digimat Software that simulates the printing process and helps printer manufacturers and end-users identify manufacturing issues, while optimising printing parameters for productivity and  precision. In this way, Hexagon provides an end to end solution for OEM, Service Bureau and Research Institutes with its hardware and software solutions.  

Without a doubt, AM is showing great promise in healthcare innovation and is certain to revolutionise the medical industry – all geared towards better well-being for humankind.

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Latest Product Launches From BOGE To Hexagon

Latest Product Launches From BOGE To Hexagon

ARISTA Introduces Alvista Plus 3 To 1 KVM Switch Extender

ARISTA Introduces Alvista Plus 3 To 1 KVM Switch Extender

ARISTA Introduces Alvista Plus 3 To 1 KVM Switch Extender

The model ARD-0301-A00-TX KVM Switch Transmitter connects the HDMI outputs and USB ports of up to three computers as the source signals and then feeds those signals to the model ARD-1007-A02-RX-KVM03 KVM switch receiver. All of this is accomplished via a single CAT6 cable over a distance of up to 330 feet.

The ARD-1007-A02-RX-KVM03 KVM switch receiver functions as a remote console with a display monitor plus a connected keyboard and mouse. A user at the console can press the switch on the KVM receiver to toggle control between the three computers remotely. The ARD-1007-A02-RX-KVM03 KVM switch receiver’s LED display indicates which computer is connected and the video output is shown on the LCD display monitor of the plant floor console.

Beamex Launches New CMX Analytics Dashboard

Beamex CMX Calibration Management Software is an automated, paperless solution that helps you plan, manage, analyze, and document all calibration work and assets safely and efficiently. It is automated and easy to use, reducing the time and cost of calibration work while removing the risk of human error and minimizing the risk of non-compliance.

The new analytics dashboard pulls information from the CMX database and shows it in Microsoft Power BI, an industry-leading tool for visualizing data. To make things even more convenient, the analytics dashboard can also be viewed on a smartphone. The analytics report includes the most commonly used analytics, including calibration KPIs, reference standards, calibrator traceability, work order management, and scheduling.

BOGE’s New Ecoline Screw Compressors

BOGE’s New Ecoline Screw Compressors

BOGE’s New Ecoline Screw Compressors

BOGE’s new state-of-the-art S ecoline compressor series is the perfect choice for garages,  body shop workshops and light industries. Featuring a new level of energy efficiency with BOGE Airends, the compressor blends high German quality standards with individually tailored solutions to meet customer requirements across Europe and Asia-Pacific. The S ecoline is silent, user-friendly, low in maintenance and tested to perfection.

Key advantages of the S ecoline: 

  • Ready to work, standard configuration for user-friendly operation
  • Attractive priced screw compressor with capacity from 11 – 30 kW 
  • Available with working pressures up to 7.5 bar / 10 bar
  • Intelligent BOGE BASE control
  • First oil fill with Boge 3000Plus Lubricant
  • Ready stock of machines and spare parts for fast delivery

CommScope: Simple, Smarter Hardened Connector Solution

CommScope_ Simple, Smarter Hardened Connector Solution

 

CommScope’s Prodigy unlocks the potential of fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) network with comprehensive solutions that install faster and simpler than ever. Prodigy is compatible with multiple hardened fibre connectors, making it a game-changer in plug-and-play FTTH solutions. The compact footprint enables smaller, higher-density terminal footprints, while the self-aligning connectors minimise the chance of connection errors. Prodigy received CommScope’s “Innovators in Action” award as it represents a breakthrough technology that’s set to revolutionise network architecture.

Hexagon’s 3DXpert® design 

Integration of HxGN Emendate – Hexagon’s best-in-class generative design technology unlocks new levels of performance and confidence for users of the comprehensive 3DXpert solution which supports both metal and plastic-based additive parts.

The accuracy and reliability of the design is of particular benefit to industries that demand high performance and precision, such as the aerospace and medical sectors. Users will have the option to utilise the Hexagon engine’s high-end part optimization in 3DXpert to shortlist and refine design candidates with unrivalled speed and efficiency, all while remaining within the same solution.  

High Performance, Reliable LWIR Thermal Imaging

High Performance, Reliable LWIR Thermal Imaging

The Tau 2 series offers 40+ variants of the most reliable and rugged longwave infrared (LWIR) thermal camera module. Equipped with a simple optical interface and common commercial interfaces, integration with the Tau 2 and new Tau 2+ is seamless.

With an unmatched combination of features and reliability, the Tau 2 and the increased sensitivity Tau 2+ are well suited for integration in demanding applications including UAVs, unmanned applications, handheld imagers, security cameras, maritime cameras, and thermal sights. Integration is seamless with common optical, mechanical, and electrical interfaces and the most lens options available on the market. See what Tau 2 solution is best for your application.

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Hexagon And Stratasys Collaboration Delivers Holistic 3D Printing Solutions

Hexagon And Stratasys Collaboration Delivers Holistic 3D Printing Solutions

Through the virtual engineering and manufacturing support provided by the partnership, customers will be able to reduce a two to three-year timescale of designing and testing a part to six to nine months.


Hexagon’s Manufacturing Intelligence Division has announced a new solution with Stratasys, a leader in polymer 3D printing solutions, to help manufacturers in the aerospace sector boost confidence in the performance and safety of 3D printed plastic components and compress time to market. Through the new partnership, users of Stratasys’ ULTEMTM 9085 filament can now use Hexagon’s Digimat material modeling software to predict how printed parts will perform.

Stratasys solutions deliver competitive advantages at every stage in the product value chain with innovative 3D printing solutions for industries such as aerospace, automotive, consumer products and healthcare.

FULL ARTICLE AVAILABLE >> https://bit.ly/3nAguko

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Manufacturers To Spend US$2.6bn On Simulation Software By 2030

Manufacturers to Spend US$2.6bn on Simulation Software by 2030

Simulation software acts as an insurance policy against costly mistakes because it enables manufacturers to understand how a product or component will behave before it’s put into use or how it will affect the production line. Global tech market advisory firm ABI Research forecasts that manufacturer’s spend on simulation software will surpass US$2.6 billion in 2030. Spending will accelerate over the forecast period (growing by CAGR 7.1% between 2022 and 2030) as the user base of simulation software expands in aerospace, automotive, heavy machinery, and the consumer-packaged goods sectors.

“In the past, manufacturers would create prototypes and test under certain conditions. Simulation software provides more flexibility by enabling manufacturers to examine how, for example, components in aircrafts and automobiles respond to heat and vibration, or how to optimize the layout of a printed circuit board in an electronic device. Also, manufacturers’ production lines are moving from batch to continuous manufacturing, so they need the ability to anticipate and alleviate bottlenecks relating to switchovers,” explains Michael Larner, Principal Analyst, Industrial & Manufacturing at ABI Research.

Simulation software solutions from the likes of Siemens, Dassault Systèmes, and Hexagon help manufacturers not only to create robust products but also expand usage of simulation software by specialists as well as individuals in product development and on the factory floor. Simulating software now supports a wide number of decision makers, such as plant managers, systems engineers, and maintenance teams.

However, vendors of simulation software for industrial applications face some challenges. “There is also a persistent tribal knowledge within some facilities where staff is hostile to change and so suppliers will need to overcome their lack of trust in simulation results. Suppliers will also need to work with their customers to understand the performance parameters and the acceptable tradeoffs in different verticals so that findings are based on reality and users trust the results,” Larner concludes.

 

Hexagon And Plex Systems Announce Partnership To Deliver Smart Manufacturing Solutions

Hexagon And Plex Systems Announce Partnership To Deliver Smart Manufacturing Solutions

Hexagon, a global leader in sensor, software, and autonomous technologies, and Plex Systems, the leader in cloud-delivered smart manufacturing solutions, has announced a new strategic partnership.  The global partnership will enable Hexagon’s Manufacturing Intelligence division and Plex to co-sell Plex MES to Hexagon manufacturing customers, helping them to take control of the plant floor through full visibility and connectivity and realise the promise of Industry 4.0.

“There’s no question that more connected, data-driven approaches to manufacturing are central to bringing better products to market faster and more cost-effectively with confidence.” said Paolo Guglielmini, president of the Manufacturing Intelligence division at Hexagon.

“Plex brings valuable experience to our customers, and its impressive open MES solution augments our technologies offering a path to ramp up shop floor efficiency by bringing together data from siloed processes to solve manufacturing problems faster and more collaboratively.”

Hexagon and Plex share a common vision for smart manufacturing, offering manufacturers an incremental path to achieve greater automation and Industry 4.0 adoption. Using Plex’s robust Manufacturing Execution System (MES) with integrated quality control, Hexagon customers will be able to augment their workflows by streaming quality measurements, engineering data and other manufacturing information into Plex’s MES creating a digital system of record in real-time.  Manufacturers will benefit from enhanced visibility and control over their inventory and manufacturing processes, while gaining deeper insight, traceability and opportunities for continuous innovation by combining Plex and Hexagon’s digital solutions.

“We are thrilled to partner with Hexagon, an organisation that is just as dedicated to delivering smart manufacturing solutions as we are and with a global scale,” said Bill Berutti, CEO at Plex. “Smart manufacturing isn’t something that will happen years down the road … it’s real, it’s imperative and it’s happening now.”

Hexagon and Plex will partner in opportunities, initially in Europe and India, where Hexagon prospects and customers have MES needs. The combination of Hexagon and Plex for these manufacturers provides a fully digitalised solution from plant measurement and metrology to managing end-to-end production.

“Smart manufacturers are seeking continuous product and process improvements to ensure that quality is measured, enforced and managed in a closed-loop across design, production and inspection,” said Reid Paquin, research director, at IDC. “This new partnership will enable manufacturers to do just that and on a global level.”

 

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Freedom To Measure With Volvo

Freedom To Measure With Volvo

An automotive production plant for Volvo has boosted its productivity and efficiency with advanced measurement systems. Article by Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence.  

With some 2400 employees, Volvo Car Body Components (VCBC) in Olofström is an automotive production plant that produces millions of car body parts every year. From hoods and roofs to doors and subassemblies, the facility is dedicated to pressing sheet metal into vital car components that are shipped whole or partially assembled to Volvo car factories around the world for final assembly and finishing.

The earliest production stages of the car design process at Volvo rely heavily on the development of the sheet metal stamping tools designed and manufactured by the Tool and Die team at Olofström. The team is first responsible for producing tool prototypes, and with up with up to 80 tools needed for a vehicle project this can be a four-to-five-month task. Each project typically runs for a year, and the remainder of the time is dedicated to producing the final tooling that will be used to press hundreds of thousands of car body components.

In 2018, the team decided it was time to introduce a modern metrology solution to their tool prototyping and production with the goal of improving productivity. They identified several key steps in their design, production and validation process that could potentially benefit from the introduction of advanced measurement devices. Having a large and well-equipped quality room already in place, the team was already familiar with a wide range of metrology hardware. One of their key considerations was identifying a solution that would be as at home on the shop floor as it was in the quality room.

Improving the Initial Casting

The first step in producing a designed prototype or final tool is the precision milling of a casted block of raw material. Casting is not a precise process, and the casted part is typically delivered with a lot of excess raw material that must be subsequently milled down to the correct size and shape.

A key step in setting up a casted part for milling is ensuring there is no collision between the milling machine and part as they are both moved into position. Such a collision can result in expensive and time-consuming damage to the CNC milling machine. Therefore, the operator must introduce a safety factor when setting things up – positioning the machine far enough away from the material that they are sure no collision will occur. Doing this by eye is not easy, and often means that the milling machine spends a significant amount of time at the beginning of its program milling nothing.

“When you can optimise the milling program to the actual size of the material, that’s the big time saving, because it doesn’t matter if the machine goes through the air or through the material, it’s the same speed,” said Kim Tingstedt, Tool and Die Operator at VCBC Olofström.

This optimisation was already being performed, but with the comprehensive data provided by a scanner, things could be much easier. This casting scan data can be used in other ways to improve production. Tool castings are extremely heavy and difficult to move, so any possibility to make them lighter improves their usability and reduces the amount of raw material required to make them. This means they have to be as small as possible – but not too small; if not enough material is left between the outside of the tool and the inside of its precision mould, it won’t be strong enough to withstand repeated high-power stamping.

Using scan data taken after casting, the casting of subsequent prototypes and final tools can be refined to ensure the minimum weight and raw material usage is achieved without diminishing the structural integrity of the tool. This also has the benefit of allowing the milling machine to begin its work closer to the final part shape with each iteration, compounding the time savings at every step.

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Hexagon Smart Manufacturing Innovation Centre Opens In Singapore

Hexagon Smart Manufacturing Innovation Centre Opens In Singapore

Hexagon’s Manufacturing Intelligence division has opened the doors of its new Smart Manufacturing Innovation Centre in Singapore  – fitted with a wide array of advanced hardware and software technologies aimed at enabling an autonomous future.

Hexagon’s flagship facility in Southeast Asia will showcase an unparalleled portfolio of smart digital manufacturing technologies and autonomous connected ecosystems. This includes Hexagon’s latest advanced Computer Aided Engineering (CAE) solutions for design engineering; Computer Aided Manufacturing (CAM) software for production applications; precision metrology, superior sensors, automation, Artificial Intelligence (AI), machine learning, data management and analytics solutions.

The centre, currently resourced with more than two dozen people, is committed to strengthening and accelerating the development of smart manufacturing and autonomous solutions by improving design quality and production efficiencies.

Lim Boon Choon, President for Hexagon’s Manufacturing Intelligence division, Korea, ASEAN, Pacific, and India said that, “This centre marks our on-going drive to bring Hexagon’s smart solutions into this region for the benefit of businesses here. It offers an environment for innovators, design engineers and manufacturers to test proof their inventions for quality, safety and productivity with access to our latest offerings which are a part of Hexagon’s Smart Solution portfolio.

“We are the only provider in the world with the end-to-end connected capabilities – from design, production, quality assurance, data analysis, digital twin, shop floor connectivity, to Artificial Intelligence and machine learning.

“Hexagon’s Smart Manufacturing Innovation Centre allows us to move closer towards creating an autonomous future where business, industry and humanity sustainably thrive,” enthused Lim.

He hinted at exciting updates on the horizon. “More of Hexagon’s revolutionary smart technologies including the latest advanced non-contact sensors fitted on-machine, on coordinate measuring machines (CMM) as well as on Laser Trackers, to elevate quality and precision to the highest level possible will soon be featured at the centre. This is a pioneering achievement, one that the industry has not seen to-date.”

Meanwhile, Paolo Guglielmini, President of Hexagon’s Manufacturing Intelligence division said, “As a global leader of advanced technologies and smart manufacturing, Singapore is a strategic location for Hexagon’s innovation centre in the ASEAN region.”

Industry research points to a shifting tide towards autonomous smart manufacturing in the next five years in Southeast Asia, especially with many industries and governments pushing for digitalisation.

The region has also seen the rapid rise of new innovations and start-ups and unfolding of 5G technologies which are expected to spur the growth of many industries from electronics to semiconductors, medical technology, eMobility, clean energy and more.

Lim highlighted that the aerospace, automotive, electronics, medical technology as well as energy industries would stand to especially benefit from this facility.

The new Innovation Centre offers design and production engineers the very best environment to learn, experiment, interact, and facilitate deeper learning and knowledge transfer in areas such as reverse engineering, additive manufacturing, shop-floor automated inspection and digitalisation of operations.

Solutions at the Hexagon’s Smart Manufacturing Innovation Centre include:

  • Advanced CAE solutions for design engineering, for simulation such as Cradle and [virtual manufacturing / manufacturing process simulation] tools such as the Simufact portfolio
  • CAM software for production solutions like NCSIMUL and VISI Reverse
  • Asset management and connected shopfloor digital solutions like SFx Asset Management,
  • Quality analysis solutions such as Q-DAS, VGSTUDIO Max and Laser Trackers
  • Statistical Process Control to collect data for analytics.

 

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