Midwest AM Summit on July 26 Focuses on Supply Chain Benefits

For anyone seeking a one-day overview of the entire additive supply chain, plus the opportunity to network with executives and planners across a range of industries, consider attending an upcoming summit in Plymouth Indiana.

Are you still on the fence about the power of additive manufacturing (AM) to change your company’s manufacturing processes for the better? For anyone seeking a one-day overview of the entire additive supply chain, plus the opportunity to network with executives and planners across a range of industries, consider attending an upcoming summit in Plymouth Indiana.

ITAMCO logo (Image courtesy ITAMCO)

Indiana Technologies and Manufacturing Companies (ITAMCO) will be hosting an Additive Manufacturing Regional Summit, Thursday July 26, 2018, bringing together resources and attendees from a broad swath of the Midwest. The conference addresses materials, systems, planning, post-processing, quality and research, introducing and educating large industrial businesses that are not yet utilizing this tool.

Growth of the AM Industry as a Critical Tool

Brent Kephart, executive vice president, sales and marketing at Atlas 3D and one of the organizers of the event, says, “According to McKinsey & Company, the AM industry will reach $100 Billion by 2025. ITAMCO and Atlas 3D saw a need to inform our regional companies about this emerging technology and how they can take advantage of this revolutionary process.”

The goals of the event are to provide an introductory understanding of the AM industry and demonstrate use cases to apply to the attendees’ own business. “Interestingly enough,” notes Kephart, “most of the supply chain for additive is located right in Northern Indiana, from the material suppliers, software providers and manufacturers to the end users like biomedical, RV manufacturers, aerospace and automotive.”

Atlas 3D logo (Image courtesy Atlas 3D)Subject matter experts will each address their targeted part of the AM supply chain; the event will also provide a networking environment for executives exploring this industry.

Summit Presenters

Opening remarks will come from Joel Neidig, director of R&D at ITAMCO. The company, founded in 1955 as IndianaTool-IndianaGear, is an engineering-based manufacturer of precision components and large assemblies, with multiple areas of expertise including precision gears and part-finishing. One of ITAMCO’s AM research projects has involved simulating thermal distributions in direct metal laser sintering (DMLS).

EOS logo (Image courtesy EOS)

Jennifer Howe, area sales representative for EOS, will discuss AM equipment technology in general and her company’s DMLS systems in particular. EOS was one of the first AM companies to produce end-use parts based on powder-bed equipment and is a leading company in this field worldwide.

Kephart will explain the need and benefits of careful planning when setting up metal AM print runs. Atlas 3D has developed a unique software simulation package called SUNATA that takes the guess-work out of orienting parts for printing, as well as creating a support structure that minimizes stresses and therefore part distortion as well. (See DE's Rapid Ready Tech post on Atlas 3D Sunata simulation software.)

Kennametal logo (Image courtesy Kennametal)

Drake Cargnino, business development engineer for Kennametal Stellite, has planned a talk about sourcing metal powders appropriate for the various forms of metal AM. Many production factors should be considered that go beyond those for the manufacture of powders used in traditional metal injection molding.

Dr. Richard Billo, vice president for research at the University of Notre Dame, as well as professor of computer science and engineering, will be speaking about current topics in graduate-level AM research and the many business opportunities already available to industries that are prepared.

University of Notre Dame (Image courtesy U. Notre Dame)

Dr. Steven Schmid, National Science Foundation (NSF) program director of advanced manufacturing and a professor in the department of mechanical engineering at Notre Dame, will give a perspective on his NSF work. The Advanced Manufacturing program supports the fundamental research needed to revitalize American manufacturing to grow national prosperity and the workforce, and to reshape strategic industries.

3Degrees logo (Image courtesy 3Degrees)

Dr. Mike Vasquez, consultant and 3D printing expert at 3Degrees, helps organizations maximize their investment in AM technology. This can involve any or all of the following steps: establish production capabilities including material and process validation, develop materials, identify existing parts that are good candidates for 3D printed replacements, build up a workforce and manage quality. He is the author of “How to Make 3D Printing Work for You & Your Business.”

All Attendees Welcome

The conference region originally focused on northern Indiana but registrations have already come from as far away as Wisconsin. Kephart says he’s seen strong interest from executive-level attendees seeking guidance on how to set their company’s vision in additive at a number of multi-billion-dollar manufacturing companies.

The event will take place July 26 from 10am to 2pm, with lunch provided, at Swan Lake Resort, Plymouth Indiana (register here); an optional tour of nearby ITAMCO will immediately follow the presentations.

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