Experts from different backgrounds presented and informed over 100 attendees on flexible methods and techniques for the handling of extraction and filtering of air pollutants. Current and future standards of the industry were highlighted, as well as, the benefits and challenges of using laser technology. Additive manufacturing was also a significant topic that was discussed throughout the day. As the industry continues to grow, and particles seem to get smaller and smaller, findings from different experiments were also presented to bring awareness to new challenges and difficulties.
Fabmobil- Creative technologies on the road
Sebastian Piatza, a founder of the Constitute as well as part of the Fabmobil project, discussed the aim and the cultural and educational advantages of this project since it began in October 2017. The Fabmobil is a double decker bus that travels throughout the east of Germany, offering classes, experiments, and workshops on digital technology, machinery, and programming, for up to 16 people. The two-level bus is known as a traveling laboratory, equipped with a 3D printer, laser cutter, drilling machine, 360 ° video cameras, and virtual reality glasses. The library and IoT workstation gives its passengers the possibility to research and complete projects. The educational program gives young adults living in rural areas the resources they need to be part of the technological development. It also closes the gap between the younger and older generation, as experienced and partly retired technicians instruct the workshops. By designing, developing, and experimenting on a regular basis, its aim is also to contribute to the digital world, as well as, follow trends. The speaker went into detail about creative processes and specific projects that have taken place, as well as key learnings and the results of those projects. He also discussed his experiences with mobile teaching and the differences compared to a traditional learning setting.
Metal additive manufacturing and related EH&S issues
Additive manufacturing has become more popular as the development in technology continues to grow. Especially with 3D printing, this technology has evolved dramatically in the last few years. Differing from traditional manufacturing processes, additive manufacturing combines an abundant amount of thin layers to create the final product. However, Dr. – Ing. Christian Seidel, the Chief of Department Strategy and Institute Development from Fraunhofer Research Institution for Casting, Composite, and Processing Technology IGCV, questioned the regulations that come with this type of manufacturing. Since there aren’t specific regulations to ensure safety of operation, he proposed other alternatives. He suggested the implementation of regulations that are used in other fields, including welding, powder metallurgy, and nanoparticles. He went into further detail about applying safety measures to the processes of additive manufacturing. Such as, powder based manufacturing processes, which includes laser beam melting and laser sintering. He also discussed ways to best fit these regulations into the different processes that come with additive manufacturing.
Printing of electronic functionalities via additive manufacturing
The printed electronics industry has seen rapid growth lately, and it will continue to do so in the near future. In his presentation, Lukas Stepien from Fraunhofer Institute for Material and Beam technology IWS, discusses the importance of printed electronics especially OLED screens, wearables, and photovoltaics. This will continue to be in high demand as other markets continue to grow. He believes additive dispensing is the logical solution to meet these demands, as it can produce particular materials that are needed for this growth. Producing 3D printed parts with integrated electronic features will save integration space and create flexibility, all while saving on resources and costs. This includes electrical traces and printed sensors for different applications. Components equipped with electronic functionalities that are produced better than conventional methods, will speed up the prototyping and manufacturing process.
High rate laser processing using polygon mirror scanner
Advantages to using laser technology has become more apparent, as it has advanced in development. Laser micromachining has many benefits, due to its flexibility, rapidity, uncomplicated processes, as well as a decrease in time and costs. As this technology has made headway, the scanner it uses for the beam deflection, however, is not what it should be. The requirements of high-precision and repeatable laser micro-material processing are especially important. Along with the Laser Institute University of Applied Sciences Mittweida, Professor André Streek, Sascha Klötzer, and Udo Löschner discussed the development of 2D polygon scanners to use instead of the beam deflection systems. The team evaluated and presented their findings of several test samples which evaluated the quality, precision capability, and the processing of these polygon scanners.
ISO 16890 replaces EN 779– relevance and consequences for ventilation and industrial air filtration
To ensure air filters work properly that supply high quality and clean air, standard testing have been set in place, for the health of the surrounding environment and people. Previously, Europe was following the EN 779 standard for the testing of coarse and fine dust filters. However, this was mainly applied to particle size 0.4 µm. There are many different sized particles that may pass through, which means the data collected with this standard was not precise enough to know the performance of a filter in a system. As a result, the new method ISO 16890 has been created, which focuses on different particulate matter size fractions. This will revolutionize the industry as it will help users target select filters based on their specific needs. Dipl.–Ing Karsten Schulz, the Manager Product Segment Engineering at Freudenberg Filtration Technologies, discussed the advantages of both the old and new standard, and gave practical tips and tools on how to select the appropriate filters for various requirements.
Augmented reality for mechanical and plant engineering
Trends are coming about in the electronics industry with one purpose, and that is to make manufacturing faster, smarter, better, and less expensive. Dr.-Ing Philipp Klimant from the Technische Universität Chemnitz, presented on the topic of Augmented Reality and how it can help the industry continue to thrive. Virtual technologies have really made an impact in a variety of different markets, where large companies are using more and more of this for their success, including Google, Facebook, and Microsoft. Dr. Klimant emphasized that AR can be used to optimize manufacturing processes, improve error detection times, and decrease costs. This technology can be brought into any part of the manufacturing process. For instance, it can be used as a monitoring tool directly at the shop floor level, to better exchange information and knowledge.
Methods of the characterization of aerosols from manufacturing processes with laser processing
Dr.-Ing. Steffen Blei from the Institute of Air Handling and Refrigeration located in Dresden, explained the use of laser processing and its advantages. The most common uses are divided into the following categories; removing materials (cutting, drilling), welding materials, and treating surfaces (coating, engraving). Laser processing is most beneficial due to the various amount of materials it can work with. To ensure high quality as well as follow the environmental protection, the size spectrum of aerosols needs to be known to best extract and filtrate. The speaker explains the gravimetric determination method, which can be used to verify the mass of the particles. However, there are different approaches to determine the size and the particle number concentration, which all depends on the method used for laser processing.
The risks that are involved in laser technology can be high when not handled properly. Chris Nillesen from Lapacron, a laser technology, engineering, and consulting firm, and also known as the Laser Safety Authority in the Netherlands and Belgium, discussed the biological damage that can be caused by radiation properties and partially concentrated electromagnetic power. This is why the company classifies laser products according to the IEC-EN60825. This international laser safety standard is for the protection of labor, as well as, occupational safety, which covers precautions for technical/engineering controls, administrative procedures, and personal protective equipment. The speaker explained the necessity of standardized warnings on lasers, based on their class. Especially in laser material processing, pyrolysis and evaporation can produce toxic gases, dusts, and aerosols, which must to be extracted and filtered. When ignored, the effects can be severely damaging, including irritation and burning of eyes and skin, just to name a few.
Regional development and sustainability
The fundamental challenge of a growing population is keeping the balance of the ecosystem and the world as a whole. Professor Matthias Kramer highlighted controversial topics that have been around for a very long time. Although plans have been created on an international level to set boundaries, as well as, an increase in awareness of the consummation of resources, climate change, land use, and other alarming overuse of resources, the issues are still occurring. Professor Kramer discussed the past, including the triangle of sustainability that came out 300 years ago in the “Sylvicultura oeconomica” by Carl von Carlowitz, and how it correlates with the future. A particular focus of the lecture was the relationship between the regional value chains, ecosystem, companies, and how they are dependent on each other.
Exposure to hazardous substances during powder-bed based laser-additive manufacturing
Complex components can be easily produced by using powder-based additive manufacturing technologies, especially when using powder bed methods. However, there is not much known yet about the effects of being exposed to contamination or by inhaling hazardous powders when using these processes. Jürgen Walter, Michael Hustedt, and Stefan Kaierle, with the help of Laser Zentrum Hannover, have done intensive research in relation to the safety and degree of contact with an opened and closed construction chamber, throughout the construction process. The team has also tested its effects with process emissions, particularly within the environment. When the chamber is closed, the exhaust and filter systems on the equipment significantly decreases any chance of exposure to hazardous substances. However, when the machine is open, during post-processing of construction for example, exposure to harmful substances can be true depending on air flow conditions and handling processes. Mr. Walter presented their findings that were focused on these specific parts of the construction process when the door is open, as well as, the time of the day, and its correlation to climate conditions, air exchange, and surface contamination. All conducted tests and investigated cases that have been done so far have not shown any excessively high amounts of hazardous particles or materials that would endanger workers or its environment.
Development requirements for future air handling solutions
Trends and new standards have come a long way for air handling technologies, in order for processes to be safe and secure for workers and the environment. Dr. Stefan Jakschik from ULT AG discussed the accomplishments of the company, especially their recently updated platform, ULT 200, which now has higher requirements of fine dust limit values. He also went further into their additional achievements, such as bringing more control to a system or a line. For instance, the FireCS enables a smart device to control air filter systems, or the product line Dry-Tec, which controls processes based on requirements of supply air and climate. Dr. Jakschik further discussed future developments in the industry and what can be seen. This included future standards, such as OPC UA and if it will be targeted towards digital interfaces for Industry 4.0. He also discussed safety for additive manufacturing plants, disposal technology and its challenges, filter technology for the future, as well as, plant technology for low air humidity. As the future of the market will grow, the company will continue to collaborate with partners in order to follow trends and create solutions that are needed.