Manufacturing supplies parts for some of the most critical industries in the world: aerospace, automotive, oil and gas, and heavy machinery. If these areas of business ceased to function efficiently, the world as we know it would grind to a halt.
Executives in these industries know how important their operations are. They also know that if their company does not deliver on its promises to its customers, those customers will look elsewhere for their parts.
These pressures are why these businesses value the work of FasTech LLC, an engineering firm that is capable of solving the following problems for them:
Slow Lead Times
“The biggest problem I’m seeing is people being unable to find the material and get parts made in a reasonable lead time,” explains Richie Barker, Chief Operating Officer at FasTech LLC. “Everything I hear seems to be that they can’t get material, can’t get forgings, can’t get castings. Everything is delayed. Something that would normally take three months is taking seven or eight now, and the prices are significantly jumping. Everything is costing more.”
He continues, “With FasTech, you don’t have to wait for material because we use standard off-the-shelf wire consumables, and you won’t have to use as much material, so it won’t take anywhere near as long to manufacture.”
Overly Expensive Operations
“In conventional manufacturing, you need a lot of space for material, there’s a lot of time and money involved in handling all of it, and there are additional costs for tool and machine wear, material waste and cost of recycling” Richie explains. “And the wear can be particularly bad if you’re regularly cutting down large blocks of material into smaller parts.”
“The WAAM process uses a lot less material and it is a much simpler method. All you need to do is buy your wire, which requires far less space to store, and then print your part and machine it. It’s as simple as that.”
Richie continues, “It’s the greater efficiency of 3D printing that produces so many savings. The material itself may be more expensive, but due to the fact that there are no material roughing requirements, the only finish machining process generates a fraction of the waste and can take as little as a quarter of the time. When you add all of this together, you are looking at a potential cost saving of around 50%.”
“We’ve got a part we’re working on just now,” Richie says. “It only takes 20 hours for the customer to machine currently, but they then have to post-process it with another 50 or 60 hours of manual welding, re-machining, as they are adding other feature parts to the final component. We can print the whole part in one go. We take 40 hours to print and machine it, but all they have to do after that is drill some holes. We’ve been able to make the part faster and make it in a single piece when it would have typically required multiple parts.”
“If a part has complex geometry and you make it using conventional machinery, you will need a big block of material which takes a long time to mill to the net shape and produces a lot of waste,” Richie explains. “This is where our WAAM 3D printing technology really comes into its own. We can print close to the near net shape, and therefore, use far less material to make it.”