Siemens able to customise its production with Stratasys FDM 3D printing
In order to meet the time and cost barriers of the d...
The German manufacturer, Siemens, has seen a rise in customer demand for one-off customised parts.
In order to meet the time and cost barriers of the demand with low-volume manufacturing, Siemens turned to 3D printing.
Through the integration of a Stratasys Fortus 900mc 3D printer, the manufacturer could produce parts of demand.
The additive method is more time and cost effective, benefiting both Siemens and its customers.
“Customizing low-volume production parts using FDM 3D printing has been transformational for our customer service offering, as well as our supply chain,” stated Michael Kuczmik, Head of Additive Manufacturing – Spare Parts at Siemens.
“Not only are we taking orders on-demand, 3D printing has also given us the flexibility to meet customer requirements faster with no obsolete parts created in the process.”
The manufacturer has found that additive manufacturing has particularly helped within its transport sector in Ulm, Germany.
“Our production services for end-use parts have become much more flexible and tailored to our customers’ needs since we introduced the Fortus 900mc into our manufacturing process,” explained Tina Eufinger, Business Development, SIEMENS Mobility Division.
“Before we integrated 3D printing into production, we were limited to higher quantities of parts in order to make the project cost- effective.”
“For small volume part demands from customers, we would store excess parts until they were used, discarded or became too outdated to use.”
“With the Fortus 900mc, we can now create a design that is 100 percent customized to specific requirements and optimized several times before it is 3D printed.”
“This takes our production time down from weeks to a matter of days, in a way that we can now produce a single customized part cost-effectively in low-volumes.”
First Solar to Invest US$684mn in Indian Energy Sector
First Solar is about to set up a new photovoltaic (PV) thin-film solar manufacturing facility in Tamil Nadu, India. The 3.3GW factory will create 1,000 skilled jobs and is expected to launch its operations in Q3 of 2023. According to the company, India needs 25+ gigawatts of solar energy to be deployed each year for the next nine years. This means that many of First Solar’s Indian clients will jump at the chance to have access to the company’s advanced PV.
Said Mark Widmar, First Solar’s CEO: ‘India is an attractive market for First Solar not simply because our module technology is advantageous in its hot, humid climate. It’s an inherently sustainable market, underpinned by a growing economy and appetite for energy’.
A Bit of Background
First Solar is a leading global provider of photovoltaic systems. It uses advanced technology to generate clear, reliable energy around the world. And even though it’s headquartered in the US, the company has invested in storage facilities around the world. It displaced energy requirements for a desalination plant in Australia, launched a source of reliable energy in the Middle East (Dubai, UAE), and deployed over 4.5GW of energy across Europe with its First Solar modules.
The company is also known for its solar innovation, reporting that it sees gains in efficiency three times faster than multi-crystalline silicon technology. First Solar holds world records in thin-film cell conversion efficiency (22.1%) and module conversion efficiency (18.2%). Finally, it helps its partners develop, finance, design, construct, and operate PV power plants—which is exactly what we’re talking about.
How Will The Tamil Nadu Plant Work?
Tamil Nadu will use the same manufacturing template as First Solar’s new Ohio factory. According to the Times of India, the factory will combine skilled workers, artificial intelligence, machine-to-machine communication, and IoT connectivity. In addition, its operations will adhere to First Solar’s Responsible Sourcing Solar Principles, produce modules with a 2.5x lower carbon footprint, and help India become energy-independent. Said Widmar: ‘Our advanced PV module will be made in India, for India’.
After all, we must mention that part of First Solar’s motivation in Tamil Nadu is to ensure that India doesn’t rely on Chinese solar. ‘India stands apart in the decisiveness of its response to China’s strategy of state-subsidised global dominance of the crystalline silicon supply chain’, Widmar explained. ‘That’s precisely the kind of level playing field needed for non-Chinese solar manufacturers to compete on their own merits’.
According to First Solar, India’s model should be a template for like-minded nations. Widmar added: ‘We’re pleased to support the sustainable energy ambitions of a major US ally in the Asia-Pacific region—with American-designed solar technology’. To sum up: Indian solar power is yet the next development in the China-US trade war. Let the PV manufacturing begin.