Integration, data management, material contamination and quality, or powder reuse and traceability are all barriers to success of serial production additive manufacturing. Driving innovative, partner-focused solutions, Carpenter Additive works in cooperation with customers to offer powder management and handling solutions specifically tailored to individual AM processes and facilities.
Operational considerations yield improvement in productivity and overall equipment effectiveness, material waste reduction, and environmental health and safety mitigation with large-scale powder usage. Carpenter Additive’s PowderLife was developed specifically with advanced AM users in mind looking to achieve a series of gains from their AM production program to drive sustainable improvements. The PowderLife solutions portfolio includes
PowderTrace is the smart solution to the bulk transportation and storage of metal powders for additive manufacturing. These ergonomic stainless-steel hoppers control your powder environment, reduce material contamination and enable you to concentrate on producing parts with reliability and repeatability.
Purpose-designed exclusively for additive manufacturing metal powders, PowderTrace hoppers have a capacity of up to 450 kg of powder, minimising the manual handling which can result in metal powders being accidentally mixed between types or batches.
PowderTrace units are fully sealed under an inert atmosphere, ensuring the powder stays dry and free from gaseous contaminants such as oxygen and nitrogen – critical, as contamination can lead to failed builds and can affect the final mechanical properties of built parts.
A comprehensive range of connectors and adaptors enables PowderTrace to connect with all AM machine types. Stands are available to allow metal powder to be dispensed directly into your machine.
Each hopper is material specific to avoid cross-contamination, and individually QR coded and clearly labelled for both traceability and stock control.
The smart hoppers are fitted with PowderEye sensors that monitor and record the weight, humidity, temperature, pressure and oxygen levels of the metal powder environment, putting you in control of material quality and the quantity available for AM builds.
All data collected can be uploaded into PowderSolve, Carpenter Additive’s powerful AM quality control software system, to create full powder lifecycle traceability.
Industry 4.0-ready and an integral component of the smart metal additive manufacturing factory, PowderEye collates real-time, manufacturing environment data to inform critical business decisions. Early notice of when powder is moving out of specification and is ready to be recycled is available with PowderEye, allowing you to maximise material usage.
The PowderEye sensor system offers a comprehensive update of metal powder status, monitoring your transport, storage and handling environments and giving you assurance that your powder is within specification and ready to use.
This smart sensor monitors the key factors influencing metal powder performance in AM – temperature, oxygen and moisture content, and pressure of powder environment – alerting you to any variations that could affect the quality of your AM build.
The compact PowderEye sensor can be retrofitted to any powder handling or storage equipment anywhere in the additive manufacturing process. It connects to sieves and blenders, and even monitors the production area itself. PowderEye collects continuous data wherever the powder’s location, enabling you to optimise your AM production process.
The encrypted data can be securely transmitted to Carpenter Additive’s cloud based PowderSolve software system, and provides an audit trail that adds intelligence and traceability to your AM built component and supply chain.
PowderSolve puts real-time metal additive manufacturing intelligence at your fingertips. This powerful quality control software package manages data from metal powders across multiple locations and multiple machines, adding a complete audit trail and full traceability.
Developed exclusively for metal additive manufacturing, PowderSolve’s effective AM metal powder management is the key to minimising component failure and adding track and trace capability to your processes.
Cloud based PowderSolve securely manages your metal powder data to deliver a record of materials, environmental conditions, processes and builds. A software system so powerful it can identify which metal powder, process, machine – even operator – was responsible for each step of the build. Full traceability available at the click of a button.
Record powder condition through repeated builds and predict the life of your metal powder before it moves out of specification. Monitor sizing, chemistry, storage location, quantity, the number of times the metal powder has been used, and which other powder batches it has been blended with. Enjoy confidence that your powder is within your predefined specification, maximise your material use and reduce risk.
PowderSolve will record all incoming powder, in-process material and post build data. It produces certificates of conformance at each stage of your additive manufacturing process and records your built part mechanical test data.
With PowderSolve monitoring stock levels, and the option of automatically re-ordering material, you hold the optimum level of the correct metal powder at all times.
With all the information related to your metal powder and your AM builds in one easy-to-use system, dispense with the need for complex spreadsheets. PowderSolve is designed to fit in with your way of working, integrating with Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and Quality Management Systems (QMS).
From a single metal powder test, to new alloy development, through to test builds on our in-house AM machine, Carpenter Additive’s highly experienced AM engineers and technicians are available to add value to your additive manufacturing processes with a full suite of professional services.
AM Consultancy and metal powder analysis Carpenter Additive’s impressive team of academic and industrial metallurgists and applications engineers have access to our purpose-designed, in-house powder analysis and AM laboratories to help you deliver successful AM advances. Whether you are looking for material development, process parameter optimisation, testing build viability, root cause analysis investigations or ongoing metal powder analysis contact Carpenter Additive to find out more about our metal AM consultancy and powder testing services.
Powder AM Laboratory Using our in-house AM machines to undertake process parameter development, metal powder degradation studies and AM feasibility testing, we also test metal additive manufacturing components in validation studies and undertake root cause analysis of failed builds.
New Material Development Carpenter Additive’s AM consultancy team has the metallurgy expertise to offer design and development of new metal alloys, atomised in-house, with test builds on our own AM machines and the testing of built components. We offer individually tailored, complete project delivery with full support and communication.
Powder Analysis Laboratory Our specialists offer a comprehensive range of chemical and physical metal powder analysis techniques in both the UK and USA and are skilled in interpreting just what the data means to your AM process.
All our tests are conducted to ASTM as standard where relevant, with ISO available on request, adding consistency and confidence to your process.
Analytical Techniques Full chemical analysis is available including residual elements and interstitials using various techniques as appropriate, undertaken by ISO17025/Nadcap approved lab:
PowderFlow is an easy-to-use suite of recognised techniques for your laboratory or production environment.