Innovation and investment pays off for precision engineering company
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A Doncaster-based precision engineering firm is putting its new 3D metal printing technique into practice, resulting in major reductions in production times for multi-impression mould tools.
Agemaspark developed the technique over several years, to improve the efficiency of a mould tool by as much as 20% and invested in the 3D metal printing machine needed to allow the company to create the tools.
A mould tool is a key component in the injection moulding of plastic.
The company has now completed extensive trials on conformal cooling of multi-impression plastic injection mould tools and is working with businesses across Yorkshire using the technique to produce their components helping its customer to comply with new EU regulations.
Paul Stockhill, managing director at Agemaspark, said: “We are thrilled to be using our new EOS 290 3D metal printing machine to develop innovative solutions for our customers.
“This machinery will enable us to deliver the highly efficient advanced manufacturing process through a conformal cooling technique to produce laser-sintered inserts for mould tools.
“The component that has been manufactured using our tool is currently being tested and once approved we should see it moved to a full multi-impression production tool.
“There are so many benefits resulting in trials from our mould tools, they not only save time and money for business, but also reduce their environmental impact as a time when we all need to be looking at our green credentials.”
Agemaspark is pioneering this new process as it will offer new ways to make intricate inserts that can be processed with cooling not currently possible without using expensive heat transfer materials.
Stockhill added: “The data gained from our trials will allow Agemaspark to increase the number of tools being created, due to the inserts being reducible in size because of the cooling water volumes required.
“The research will also allow for tool sizes to be reduced by half due to the design of the insets, deliberately created without large, drilled cooling channels.
“This is a very exciting time for our company and we are proud to be delivering a more eco-friendly and efficient process to produce plastic components from our factory in Doncaster.”