EOS, a leading supplier for responsible manufacturing solutions via industrial 3D printing technology, has today announced that Automotive Trim Developments (ATD), a group of companies focused on the engineering and manufacture of complete interior trim and electro-mechanical assemblies to the automotive and other transport industries, has installed two award-winning EOS M 290 metal 3D printers.
The new industrial 3D printers mark a step change in ATDs ongoing evolution and commitment to the highest engineering and manufacturing standards. Building on its extensive CNC manufacturing experience, ATD has now adopted new additive manufacturing processes, with EOS providing support at every stage for a rapid shift to active production.
An innovative automotive design and turnkey solution
During the engineering phase of a project to develop an electro-mechanical module for a luxury vehicle interior, ATD hit an engineering challenge with one particular component. The physically large and complex component was highly visible, but also lightweight, and it became clear that the only way to manufacture the component would be additive manufacturing. Taking this approach would enable ATD to achieve the target weight while ensuring a high-quality component, both cosmetically and functionally, once highly polished and electroplated in post-processing.
Additive manufacturing was a completely new process for ATD, but working with the EOS Additive Minds team they were able to implement a complete turnkey solution, that not only covered training, installation and setup of the EOS M 290 machines, but every aspect of undergoing a transformation on the production floor. This included production business case analysis, floor layout, health and safety procedures, maintenance regimes and guidance on the quality requirements of certified components. Additive Minds provided consultation support on the development of prototype parts, with machines pre-programmed before installation onsite by EOS – ready to get to work straightaway – a complete turnkey solution.
Brett Townsend, owner and managing director at ATD, says: “Metal printing is often wrongly perceived as an immature process, and too expensive for production volumes but for us it has proven ideal. Our investment in additive manufacturing and EOS is one for the long term, and a relationship that has already enabled us, at speed, to move to high quality production of complex automotive components.”
Setting the industry standard
The EOS M 290 system set the industry standard for reproducible part quality when it was launched in 2014 and is widely regarded as the industry benchmark industrial 3D printer. It boasts a wide array of validated materials to meet the needs of any use case, and its exceptionally high beam quality and detail resolution are ideal for producing highly complex components with consistent properties, such as those needed throughout the automotive sector.
Davide Iacovelli, Regional Director EMEA at EOS concludes: “Adopting additive manufacturing as a new process brings new opportunities for manufacturers, in exactly the same way it has for ATD. Our solutions are designed to support manufacturers of all sizes, and our Additive Minds team offers a range of training and consulting services on optimizing, validating and scaling your additive manufacturing, helping get the most out of machines from day one. We also support companies across all certified industries with complex engineering challenges.”