In automatized production lines, gripping tools are commonly used to displace objects in mass production processes. These parts are adapted to the product to be handled: each new product usually means the production of new gripping tools. Thus, our client relies on Zetamix 3D printing to produce these parts.
Production batches becoming smaller, our customer needs to replace their gripping tools more and more, involving additional cost and delay associated to outsourcing these machined parts: “Typical lead time for such tools are 4 to 6 weeks usually, sometimes worse if our suppliers are fully booked at that time”.
The company chose to turn to an alternative solution. 3D printing easily imposed itself as the cheaper and fastest alternative. To guarantee a long service life of the gripping tools, the production engineers choose a material that is both wear and shock resistant to endure machine jerking and high paces. Thus, metal and particularly H13 has been adopted. Indeed, in addition to show all of the required mechanical properties, it can easily be reworked for dimensional accuracy or to add a fixing hole. Moreover, thanks to Zetamix technology, this part took less than a week to be produced, including the printing steps, and the thermal treatment, steps that can be managed in house, thanks to the Zetasinter furnace.
Thanks to the flexibility of Zetamix filament, our client succeeded in producing medium series of gripping tool adapted to both the product to grip and the automatized line. They are no longer dependent on out sourced companies and are able to change the design of their products as often as they wish.