The leader in metal and sand 3D printing, ExOne, and global supplier of advanced automation systems, Siemens, announced a partnership that will improve the user experience for ExOne customers in the manufacturing, aerospace, energy, and automotive industries.
ExOne’s new S-Max Pro sand printer for foundries will now come with Siemens’ Digital Enterprise Portfolio of software and automation technology, including MindSphere. The S-Max Pro, which can print up to 135 liters per hour, will debut at the 2019 GIFA International Foundry Trade Fair.
“With this expanded partnership, ExOne will deliver even more value to our foundry and manufacturing customers who rely on our industrial 3D printers,” said ExOne CEO John Hartner. “We are proud to be the first industrial 3D printer to fully integrate the latest of Siemens control, sensing and motion technologies and this new MindSphere technology, which will give our customers a new level of control and plant integration.”
MindSphere is a cloud-based, open IoT (Internet of Things) operating system that provides machine operators with advanced analytics of sensors and printing parameters, empowering their decision making and increasing machine performance. Simply put, advanced 3D printers like those from ExOne create thousands of data points per second from their arrays of sensors, and it’s more data than a human can process in a timely manner. The cloud can analyze the data and aggregate notable deviations and patterns, arming machine operators with solutions to problems that they normally would not even detect. This partnership is about achieving further integration of hardware and software.
Dr. Karsten Heuser, Vice President of Additive Manufacturing at Siemens Digital Industries, explains, “We are proud to further strengthen our partnership with ExOne and advance the industrialization of additive manufacturing. Siemens brings new digital technologies and its profound industrial domain knowhow to help ExOne generate further value. The new ExOne S-Max Pro 3D printer proves that seamlessly integrated software and automation solutions result in shorter time to market, higher performance, and maximum availability.”
Also included in the Digital Enterprise portfolio from Siemens is the “Digital Twin,” a shared-data model that’s used alongside the entire value chain as a form of quality assurance. “Digital twins are used throughout the product lifecycle to simulate, predict, and optimize the product and production system before investing in physical prototypes and assets.” Machine operators will be able to predict failures before initiating a print, saving countless resources and labor-hours.
Siemens is a highly respected company in the manufacturing and automation industries, and SExOne is a household name among foundries and smaller manufacturers. The partnership will enhance the name recognition of both companies; automation companies that already use Siemens equipment will feel safe to invest in ExOne’s 3D printers, and ExOne’s customers will be exposed to Siemens automation software, which will likely encourage them to adopt more automated systems.