Cummins Adds Binder Jet to Its AM Capabilities
Jeffrey Heimgartner posted on April 30, 2019 |

As the role of additive manufacturing (AM) continues to prove its worth across industries, Cummins—which designs, manufactures and distributes engines, filtration and power generation products—has added to its 3D-printing capabilities with two GE Additive Concept Laser M2 binder jet printers. The company had already been testing the 3D-printing waters with two other metal 3D printers.

“By investing in 3D metal additive technologies from GE Additive, we are investing in Cummins and our customers,” said Tim Millwood, Cummins vice president of Global Manufacturing. “This technology has the potential to provide our customers with a quicker, lower-cost production method that ultimately uses less energy, which means we can better serve our customers and reduce our environmental impact.”

The addition of two Concept Laser M2s will allow Cummins to focus on higher-volume production strategies for medium- to large-sized parts. (Image courtesy of GE Additive.)
The addition of two Concept Laser M2s will allow Cummins to focus on higher-volume production strategies for medium- to large-sized parts. (Image courtesy of GE Additive.)

As the manufacturing world turns to Industry 4.0, 3D technology provides a way to usher in enhanced production. The ability to make part lighter, stronger and more efficient compared to traditional methods is a key element of that efficiency, as well as the reduction of waste AM provides.

For the automotive industry, that often means harnessing the power of metal 3D printing. A binder jet printer features a powder-based material and a liquid binder. The print head deposits alternating layers of the two materials to create a solid part. Depending on what is being printed, binder jetting can increase printing time potentially up to 100 times faster than laser processes at a lower cost.

Earlier this year, Cummins launched beta testing and completed its first manufactured metal bracket for an existing supplier. The success of the low-volume part seems to indicate the company is going in the right direction with its newest investments, which allows them to use AM for larger and more complex parts. The speed of printing will also provide quicker turnaround for customers.

The technology can also be used to create parts that are no longer manufactured and remanufacture engines and parts, further keeping costs down for customers and reducing what goes to the landfill.

Currently, the new machines are housed at GE Additive’s lab in Cincinnati, Ohio. Cummins personnel are working at the lab to further develop the technology. The plan is to relocate the printers to a Cummins facility later this year.

Interested in more ways 3D printing is changing transportation? Check out Carbon Introduces 3D-Printed Auto Parts for Ford and Busses and Tractors to Receive 3D-Printed Spare Parts.


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