A new partnership is bringing shop floor data together with data intelligence for consistency in additive manufacturing.
As additive manufacturing moves toward production applications, certain necessities arise. Namely are nonnegotiable aspects like predictability, repeatability, traceability, and consistent part-to-part quality.
These aspects have to be addressed throughout the additive manufacturing workflow. As we know, 3D printing is more than just 3D printing; there’s conception, design, simulation, materials handling and selection, the 3D printing itself, post-processing, validation/inspection, delivery, and throughout it all traceability.
Today, Authentise has announced a partnership with Hexagon’s Manufacturing Intelligence division. They explain the need to bring all the above aspects together and continue:
“However, the technical challenge of connecting these silos and applying these data have inhibited the ability to consistently apply AM to new designs. New solutions delivered through the partnership will apply Statistical Process Control (SPC) with Machine Learning (ML) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) methods to mitigate waste and quality issues during the design phase and improve the repeatability of additive manufacturing processes within a site or between global locations.
Through the partnership, Hexagon and Authentise will build solutions to industrialise AM technology by digitising every step of the workflow from part design through production to final product and quality assurance utilising their unique stack of technology capabilities to connect the digital thread of a part and trace its pedigree. This is made possible by a shared commitment to open architectures that integrate data and automate workflows between Hexagon’s best-of-breed applications for AM and the third-party equipment and software manufacturers chose to use.”
It’s perhaps not surprising to hear of a partnership like this from Authentise. The company has previously partnered with:
- nebumind — digital twin focus
- Addiguru — for in-process monitoring
- Microsoft — focusing on automation
- Autodesk — integrating workflow tools
- Prosper3D — for quoting algorithms
- 3D printer OEMs like SLM Solutions and EOS for direct integrations
So to see the Authentise umbrella stretch now over to Hexagon’s Manufacturing Intelligence seems another step toward better-integrated — and better-developed — additive manufacturing workflow management.
For its part, Hexagon has been introducing some interesting solutions impacting additive manufacturing. Earlier this year, for example, the Manufacturing Intelligence division launched a new HP-OW sensor, expanding its line of specialized sensors that can efficiently scan parts throughout production.
Authentise CEO Andre Wegner explains to Fabbaloo:
“Generally the tie up is super important. For me, Hexagon is the most interesting player out there, because they have so many different point solutions. The fact that, as a result of the Leica acquisition a few years ago, they’re also super strong in metrology just makes the thing more interesting. We share a common vision so have a lot to do together. Imagine a world where:
- Simulation is done as a background service and displayed to the user as a ‘traffic light’ just before print.
- Machining fixtures and toolpaths are prepared automatically.
- Scans, analysis and more are included in the quality report as soon as the data is captured.
These are just a start of some pragmatic integrations we can talk about now. Ultimately, Hexagon’s point solutions and Authentise’s workflow can combine to deliver that instant end-to-end idea-to-part digital thread that you and I talked about. Here’s to making those visions happen!”
In today’s announcement, Wegner adds that “This partnership represents a step change for the industry – together we’re delivering the integrated digital thread for additive manufacturing that customers have sought for so long.”
From a partner’s perspective, that building together adds needed flexibility and expertise. Mathieu Pérennou, Global Business Development Director Additive Manufacturing, Hexagon’s Manufacturing Intelligence division, says:
“Together with Authentise, we are building a next-generation framework for our customers to manage flexible, fully digitized production workflows in private cloud environments. For manufacturers, AM is a complex and changing market with many excellent tools, printers and materials to apply. We believe our open and flexible systems will enable us to respond quickly to customer’s needs and integrate with their unique environments. This will connect the data flow and help streamline their workflows in all stages of the AM process – before, during and after production and support their specific standards or compliance needs.”
A great kickoff for the partnership is noted on the Authentise site, where they note that “Authentise and Hexagon experts are now offering a free performance analysis of your additive digital thread.” A free analysis is always a good way to get a foot in the door and see if new solutions might work for you.