designing for process

Designing parts specifically for AM saves on costs and lead-times

Designing a part specifically for AM reduced the number of production steps from 38 to 9, reducing the lead-time from 20 weeks to 5 weeks, and reducing costs of more than 30%.

Hittech Group BV is a group of companies supplying services in system integration, casting and sub-contract manufacturing for other companies. In order to offer a more complete service portfolio to their customers, Hittech and 3T-am formed a strategic alliance to work on a range of projects. 

Hittech produced an enclosure for electronic components that required complex internal channels in the walls of the box for cooling these system components. In order to manufacture the complex internal cooling channels and other features of the box using conventional methods, there were 38 steps in the manufacturing process chain, including milling out the channels and then bonding on the outer skins to complete the exterior walls of the box itself.

In conjunction with 3T-am, Hittech identified an opportunity to change the method of production of the enclosure in order to reduce the number of steps in the process, and improve the overall manufacturing yield.

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A key objective of the redesign was to reduce the yield loss during manufacture which has been reduced to almost zero”