by Manja Franke, Head of Research
The year 2020 has been quite challenging for most of us and for sure different than expected, but we at AMEXCI used this as an opportunity to focus on different areas and strengthen our knowledge.
We centralized the last couple of months on rebuilding our website and creating a research library. The idea behind this is to show what kind of topics we have been working in the last years within the Research Department. Since our scope is relatively broad we summarized and structured the different fields into Metal, Polymer and Software Research.
Newly investigated topics have been for example Directed Energy Deposition (DED) technologies, researching applicable standards all over the world related to Additive Manufacturing (AM) or Artificial Intelligence investigations. Our new colleague Merve Canalp joined the team this year as a Researcher and helped us gain more valuable knowledge about Polymers in AM. The focus so far has been on technical polymers, their limits and advantages. Out of this study we were able to define customer projects with specific applications. The other main focus was on analyzing different surface treatment methods that are currently available on the market. We worked closely together with different Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) and achieved good results.
Customer advancements lead us to consolidate our knowledge
Our biggest project this year in the Research Department has been a study about AM Copper. We received test geometries from different suppliers and evaluated the various available technologies on the market. As Copper is gaining an increasingly important role in the AM world the interest on this topic is relatively high and well received in our shareholder group.
In our Development Department we also saw a considerable increase of project requests. A lot of parts have been developed in the last couple of years, while we conducted trainings in the field of AM with more people. This lead to a higher request and more cases, where some of them are even going in the direction of volume production. We are definitely seeing a development from rapid prototyping to serial production happening now, which leads us to consolidate our knowledge in its regard.
The limited ability to travel and meet in person has left AMEXCI’s Innovation Department with several challenges especially after opening their new Co-creation space, where applications were jointly developed with customers at the beginning of this year.
Developments at AMEXCI
Throughout the year, we have developed several new offerings together with our customers and jointly achieved great successes:
→ We developed and shipped an AM experience Kit containing sample parts, the AMEXCI AM booklet and process cards and other content to designers and managers in over 10 countries. This allowed them to experience the benefits and limitations of different technologies.
→ We fully changed our in-person courses to online workshops. As a result, employees of our customers working from home could take part in our online workshops to further study different fields within AM.
→ We implemented different tools and technologies to virtually collaborate with our customers on part selection and application development in a more structured and output-driven way.
Even though we hope that we can switch back towards more in-person interaction during 2020, we are confident that this revised offering will remain in place well into 2021.