TECHNOLOGY INTELLIGENCE

TECHNOLOGY INTELLIGENCE

Rapid manufacturing makes for mainstream

By Stephen Moore, Director – Intercedent Asia (May 2009)

With the ability to form functional parts from metals, rapid manufacturing (otherwise known as  digital direct manufacturing or DDM) technology holds abundant potential as a next-generation fabrication process. This is attested to by the US companies: Stratasys and Wohlers Associates, 3D Systems and Align Technology. Another DDM technology, selective laser sintering (SLS) of metals, is showing substantial promise in a variety of applications. SLS employs laser irradiation to form parts and tools from metal powders such as stainless steel, titanium, aluminium, magnesium and zinc. Italian company Ala Ortho, is using a system from Sweden’s Arcam AB, Mölndal, since 2007 to fabricate its titanium Fixa Ti-Por acetabular cup for total hip replacement in a manner that ensures maximized bone fixation. In aerospace, meanwhile, RM is being employed primarily for the repair of turbine blades and other jet engine parts.

Read more at: www.amtil.com.au under AMT Magazine Article Archive.

Aseanplas: Processors answer calls for productivity, innovation

By Stephen Moore, Director – Intercedent Asia (July 2008)

Processors in Southeast Asia have been coming under increased cost pressures—through competition from China and high raw materials costs—but they are fighting back through a mix of innovation and automation.

Take Malaysian injection molder GF Technology (Penang), for instance, exhibiting its silica plasma coating technology for plastic substrates at the recent Aseanplas show in Singapore. The process is used as a cost-competitive alternative to the conventional three-step process of primer, vacuum metallization, and UV-cured clear coat. Khor Meow Siang, GF Technology’s managing director, says, “Besides aesthetic coatings, various functionalities such as infrared shielding, EMI shielding, microwave shielding, and birefringence reduction can be formed.” A microwave shielding application is already commercial in the form of a microwave detector sold by

Agilent. Mobile phone manufacturers such as Motorola are also employing the services of GF Technology to mold and coat cell phone covers.

Read more: Modern Plastics.

Bridging the gap

By Stephen Moore, Director – Intercedent Asia (March 2009)

Daniel Roney’s Detekt Design is a truly modern design house, bringing East and West together to meet rising consumer standards amid global pressures.

Being based in southern China, Roney has a prime view of industry trends and developments in the “World’s Workshop,” and in these tough economic times, he has some valuable advice as to what it takes to be successful in global manufacturing.

Read more: Modern Plastics: As I See It.

Korean machine builders ride the servopump route

By Stephen Moore, Director – Intercedent Asia (May 2008)

Unable to make significant inroads into the all-electric market, South Koreaʼs injection machine builders are docking servomotors with hydraulic pumps to realize energy savings, as demonstrated at the Koplas show in late March. As with their Taiwanese counterparts, Korean OEMs are adopting cutting edge hydraulic technology that brings processors many of the advantages of all electric molding machines, at only a slight price premium over standard hydraulic machines.

Read more: Modern Plastics.

 

Publications
Modern Plastics - July 2008
Aseanplas: Processors answer calls for productivity, innovation. Stephen Moore
Modern Plastics - March 2009
As I See It: Bridging the gap. Stephen Moore
Modern Plastics - May 2008
Korean machine builders ride the servopump route. Stephen Moore