Innomia a.s. from the Czech Republic is committed to Direct Metal-Laser-Sintering (DMLS) for the automotive industry, amongst other things. The company helps the automotive supplier Magna optimise the production process for armrests between the front seats thanks to a revised cooling concept. The EOSINT M 270 from EOS is used in this case.
The armrests are manufactured by a classic injection moulding process. The production tool hereby has to dissipate the heat energy of the liquid base material so that the plastic can solidify. A quick and even dissipation of heat is important here: this prevents deformations and reduces the time until the component can be removed.
Conformal cooling saves time and money
The team at Innomia hereby rely on conformal cooling channels, one of the special options with the Additive Manufacturing. After the actual manufacturing process - the layer-by-layer application and fusing of the metal powder - the employees of this Czech specialist have managed to increase the hardness grade to more than 50 HRC (Rockwell hardness) through subsequent treatment.
The injection-moulded components are no longer deformed thanks to the quick and uniform distribution and dissipation of heat in the optimised production tool. The surface of the insert does not become warmer than 90degree(s)C; thanks to the conformal cooling channels, the time needed for a production cycle is 17% lower than before - these figures have been reported by Innomia and Magna after around 370,000 cycles. Overall savings for this period were around 20,000 euros. What's more, the problems with humidity and tool corrosion could be completely solved and Magna profits from a service interval that could be extended to six weeks.
"We were able to manufacture an extremely long-lasting component with conformal cooling channels by means of the DMLS technology on an EOSINT M 270. This reduces the cycle time and solves the key problems of the production process with little work," explains Lubos Rozkosny, CEO of Innomia.