Valmet has well understood the business opportunities that Additive Manufacturing (AM) provides. Together with Huld, Valmet has invested in finding new applications as well as developing the AM understanding of its employees. As a result of the cooperation, numerous new applications have been found in parts and spare parts for paper and board machines. In multiple cases the number of individual parts in the assemblies was significantly reduced, whilst improving the performance of the parts selected for 3D printing.
AM competence of our personnel increased significantly
At Valmet, AM-technologies have been used successfully in prototypes, tools, installation accessories and scale models. Now was the time to take a step towards using AM for end-use products and spare parts. In addition, this collaboration resulted in multiple proposals for suitable use cases, which created a basis for continued development.
“Cooperation with Huld has been effortless and response times have been fast. Huld independently and actively brought up new ideas, ideas which we never considered in the first place. I give my strong recommendation to Huld, especially for the implementation of development projects,” says Sampo Immonen, Head of line R&D.
“AM offers designers great potential but at the same time poses new challenges. The functionality of the parts needs to be completely rethought, and requires a significant change in mindset, which does not happen automatically. This change requires training, case examples, discussions with experts and successful development projects,” continues Sampo Immonen.
Improved part functionality with AM
Both plastic and metal parts were redesigned, always striving to take advantage of the potential of AM. Designing for additive manufacturing enabled the production of parts that would have been otherwise challenging to produce with other manufacturing methods. During the project, numerous tools and components were designed either entirely from scratch or based on an old part.
In the project, suitable items were surveyed and selected from both the wet and dry ends of the paper machine as well as products from the spare parts business. Valmet’s product experts and numerical data were used to map the items selected for further development. Combining the numerical data and the expertise of Valmet employees provided ample information to facilitate further development.
“The premise for the success of the development project was not that existing component would be directly replaced by 3D printed parts, but the success was constructed around the idea of looking at the possibilities offered by 3D printing. Such hybrid manufacturing as used in this project succeeded in exploiting both the precision of traditional manufacturing methods as well as the ability of 3D printing to produce freer geometry,” concludes Sampo Immonen.
Valmet is the leading global developer and supplier of technologies, automation and services for the pulp, paper and energy industries. Valmet’s vision is to become the global champion in serving its customers. Valmet’s net sales in 2019 were approximately EUR 3.5 billion. More than 13,000 professionals around the world work close to our customers and are committed to moving our customers’ performance forward – every day. Valmet’s head office is in Espoo, Finland and its shares are listed on the Nasdaq Helsinki.
Huld is a technology design house. We bring more intelligence to our customers’ business – and to the entire world. We navigate smoothly between the physical and digital, and combine them in a creative way. Our goal is to optimize the use of materials in the manufacture of machines. We see beyond tomorrow.