Schaeffler and DMG MORI have started a new project to develop additive manufacturing processes for rolling bearing components made of graded materials. Schaeffler has expanded its own
in-house area of additive manufacturing to include the powder bed process for the first time with the LASERTEC 65 3D hybrid from DMG MORI, which it uses for the production of components made of metallic materials.
di Elena Magistretti
For many years now Schaeffler and DMG MORI have cooperated closely in a long-term and successful partnership. Schaeffler already uses generative manufacturing with plastic 3D printers and the powder bed technology for prototype construction, small series production and tool and fixtures construction. In their latest cooperation project the partners are developing additive manufacturing processes for rolling bearing components made of graded materials in small batch sizes using laser deposition welding.
Schaeffler has expanded its own in-house area of additive manufacturing to include the powder bed process for the first time with the LASERTEC 65 3D hybrid from DMG MORI, which it uses for the production of components made of metallic materials.
The high build-up rate and high degree of flexibility of materials were aspects that significantly influenced the decision. In addition integrated 5-axis simultaneous machining enables the production of components in finished part quality in a single setup, a feature in which Schaeffler sees potential for serial production.
Added value through graded materials
The LASERTEC 65 3D hybrid is equipped with two powder feeders and enables targeted control of the changeover from one material to another during laser deposition welding. This results in graded materials with a smooth transition between the different material properties. The toughness and hardness of the material can be regulated in the build-up process and optimally aligned to the specific requirements of the individual application.
Schaeffler and DMG MORI are testing suitable materials in the cooperation project, with the aim of advancing the development of additively manufactured rolling bearing components in small batch sizes using laser deposition welding. Schaeffer’s focus here is on realizing optimized products that offer added value for end customers.
Schaeffler has also been active in Formula E for many years and is working flat out on further improvements for electric drives within the framework of its strategy “Mobility for Tomorrow”. The use of material gradation here on the LASERTEC 65 3D hybrid results in exciting opportunities for development. Magnetic and non-magnetic materials could, for example, be combined through gradation and the properties adjusted to the component as required.
Integration in the production process
The LASERTEC 65 3D hybrid will also be integrated in the production process at Schaeffler in order to optimise the production of spare parts, small series and single parts. Immediate production of such parts allows the speedy provision of spare parts while at the same time eliminating storage costs for large workpieces.