Apr 20, 2017 | By Tess
German engine provider MAN Diesel & Turbo has announced it is now 3D printing metal components for its gas turbines. The company claims it is the first manufacturer in the world to integrate metal 3D printed parts “not only for test runs, but also for serial production.” The breakthrough is the product of nearly a decade of research and development by MAN Diesel & Turbo.
Additive manufacturing is becoming increasingly common in gas turbine manufacturing, with reputable companies such as Siemens developing and testing metal 3D printed components. The benefits of having 3D printed parts integrated into gas turbines are similar to the benefits additive manufacturing can provide in other manufacturing sectors: optimized, strong, and lightweight parts, often thanks to complex internal geometries.
For MAN Diesel & Turbo, 3D printing has offered unique benefits to its production range, most notably for its gas turbine components. Specifically, the company has been 3D printing metal parts for guide vanes on its MGT6100 gas turbines.
Dr. Roland Herzog, head of material technology at MAN Diesel’s Strategic Business Unit Turbomachinery, explained: “Additively manufactured guide vane segments that we are now incorporating into our type MGT6100 gas turbines have proven particularly suitable. The approval for serial production is the result of intense cooperation with highly specialized suppliers and development partners such as the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology.”
To further investigate and explore how 3D printing could benefit their manufacturing processes, MAN Diesel & Turbo is also investing 2.6 million euros into its new “MAN Centre for Additive Manufacturing” (MANCAM), which is based at its turbo-machinery facility in Oberhausen, Germany. There, design specialists, materials experts, and engineers will work “to extend the benefits of additive manufacturing” in order to advance the company’s engine components (compressor impellers and fuel nozzles, for instance).
Uwe Lauber, CEO of MAN Diesel & Turbo, said: “The standardized use of additive manufacturing is a strategic milestone for MAN Diesel & Turbo. 3D printing gives us clear competitive advantages in terms of our products supporting the decarbonization of industry and power generation. The techniques considerably reduce the path from an innovative design to a finished product. The digital data from our R&D departments can be converted into better products more quickly than before, while customers are supported throughout the entire product lifecycle with 3D printing-based services.”
Based in Augsburg, Germany, MAN Diesel & Turbo is the world’s leading provider of large-bore diesel engines and turbo-machinery for marine and stationary applications.
Posted in 3D Printing Application
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