Discrete Manufacturing

Cummins integrates metal 3D printed production

More additive manufacturing is expected, lower costs, higher speeds with 20 part numbers available. Depending on the complexity of the part, the technology can print 60 to 100 times faster than other laser-based printing processes, allowing high-volume production.

By Mark T. Hoske July 9, 2021
Courtesy: Cummins

 

Learning Objectives

  • Cummins integrates metal 3D printed production into manufacturing.
  • More than 20 parts are available via 3D printing, Cummins said.
  • After-market customers benefit from cost and cycle times.

By finalizing its first production part using a new, high-precision 3D metal printing technology called binder jet Cummins Inc. said it achieved a “it a significant milestone in the company’s additive manufacturing and Industry 4.0 journey.”

The lance tip adapter, a critical emissions component in Cummins engines, atomizes and injects diesel exhaust fluid into the engine exhaust stream to reduce the amount of nitrogen oxides (NOx) emitted from Cummins’ engine systems. Producing this part through additive manufacturing provides several additional benefits, including a lighter-weight design, improved geometry for fluid and air flow, and the elimination of the added complexity of cross-drillings. The company hopes to have final approval of the part and to start official production later this year.

In April 2019, Cummins announced investment in binder jet technology, where a print head moves across a bed of powdered metal and selectively deposits a liquid binding agent in the shape of the part cross section, bonding areas to form a solid part one layer at a time. Depending on the complexity of the part, the technology can print 60 to 100 times faster than other laser-based printing processes, allowing high-volume production. Binder jet printer can reuse nearly all leftover powder from the printed part for producing other parts. Courtesy: Cummins

In April 2019, Cummins announced investment in binder jet technology, where a print head moves across a bed of powdered metal and selectively deposits a liquid binding agent in the shape of the part cross section, bonding areas to form a solid part one layer at a time. Depending on the complexity of the part, the technology can print 60 to 100 times faster than other laser-based printing processes, allowing high-volume production. Binder jet printer can reuse nearly all leftover powder from the printed part for producing other parts. Courtesy: Cummins

More additive manufacturing, lower costs, higher speeds

“This is incredibly exciting, as it signifies yet another significant milestone in our 3D and additive manufacturing roadmap,” said Tim Millwood, vice president of global manufacturing at Cummins. “We’re on the cusp of being able to leverage a broad range of additive technologies to print the parts we need, using the right technology and at lower costs and increased speeds.” Cummins and GE Additive are partnering to develop third-generation binder jet technology, which will support an industrialized solution with even higher throughput, improved quality and lower cost.

The cost and cycle times of additive manufacturing machines make them well-suited for producing parts for Cummins’ aftermarket customers and those needed in low volumes, the company said. Since selling the first metal 3D-printed part in 2019, Cummins has approved 20 part numbers and shipped nearly 350 parts using additive technologies.

Mark T. Hoske is content manager, Control Engineering, CFE Media and Technology, mhoske@cfemedia.com.

KEYWORDS: Additive manufacturing, 3D printing, Industry 4.0

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Mark T. Hoske
Author Bio: Mark Hoske has been Control Engineering editor/content manager since 1994 and in a leadership role since 1999, covering all major areas: control systems, networking and information systems, control equipment and energy, and system integration, everything that comprises or facilitates the control loop. He has been writing about technology since 1987, writing professionally since 1982, and has a Bachelor of Science in Journalism degree from UW-Madison.