Cutting edge technologies such as 3D printing, Internet of Things, AI among others are rapidly transforming manufacturing industry as part of the 4th Industrial Revolution. The Covid-19 pandemic and the UK’s commitment to achieve net zero by 2050 accelerated the digital adoption like never before. An increasing number of manufacturers are now reaping the benefits of digital adoption including lower costs, increased productivity, and achieving carbon emission reductions.
We have asked manufacturers about where these advanced technologies are most used within the business and what benefits they are hoping to achieve. We have looked closer into how manufacturers are becoming more sustainable and can achieve their net zero goals. The UK manufacturing sector has a key part to play in the transition to a net-zero carbon economy, not only by cutting its own greenhouse gas emissions, but also and more crucially through the innovative products, processes and services that will become an integral part of the green industrial revolution.
Agemaspark Ltd is a is a precision engineering company that serves industries including aerospace, Oil & Gas, and the food sectors. It assists many businesses to solve their engineering problems to produce many individual components for a wide range of sectors.
Conventional mould tool making has limitations, meaning the moulds are being designed larger and larger so they can take more impressions to increase
numbers of components and keep up with demand. As a result, the moulding machines are being supplied as large operational units taking up significant factory space and requiring high energy for operation. Investing in new and pioneering 3D metal printing technique is resulting in major reductions in cycle times for multi-impression mould tools. The current cooling channels are straight drilled and cause lengthy and uneven cooling, which often results in the formation of hot spots and high scrap rates. Conformal cooling works by creating a suitable cooling channel at a well-defined distance from the cavity—which is impossible using a conventional drilled cooling mechanism—thereby reaching areas where it is difficult to do so using conventional methods. The temperature sensors embedded on each cavity will enable effective control of the cooling.
Agemaspark sought overcome these barriers by developing a highly efficient advanced manufacturing process for the production of laser sintered mould
tools with a novel ceramic coating. The mould tools will make use of the breakthrough process utilising conformal cooling channels embedded with temperature control sensors enabling localised temperature control. This will overcome inherent deficiencies in the current plastic caps and closures mould tooling technology. The company has now completed extensive trials on conformal cooling of multiimpression plastic injection mould tools and is working with companies across Yorkshire using the technique to produce their components helping its customer to comply with new EU regulations.
✔ Reduction in energy use with increased impressions. Environmental advantages with this method by increasing the impression on the same envelope or reducing the size of the tools and therefore the size of the mould press, reducing energy consumption;
✔ Huge reduction in cooling water from tens of thousand litres in 24hrs to only 10-20 litres. Environmental advantages with this method by increasing the impression on the same envelope or reducing the size of the tools and therefore the size of the mould press, reducing energy consumption.
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