Jun 16, 2017 | By Tess
Techniplas LLC, a plastic fabrication company based in Nashotah, Wisconsin, has announced plans to establish a 3D printing center. The facility will be used to accelerate product development through the digitization of the company’s operations.
Techniplas, known best for injection molding automotive parts, will be venturing into the world of additive manufacturing under experienced leadership: Avi Reichental, the former president, chief executive officer, and director of 3D Systems (as well as a member of the board of directors for Nano Dimension), has been appointed as CEO of the new Techniplas Digital business unit.
“It’s coming to life as we speak,” said Reichental of the new additive manufacturing center. In fact, Techniplas has reportedly already set up about a dozen 3D printers at its facility in Ventura, California. The company says it will primarily focus its 3D printing efforts on direct metal printing for rapid tooling development.
Specifically, Techniplas hopes to leverage 3D printing for metal inserts used in standard mold bases, which will help to speed up the toolmaking process. “It’s the future of short-run manufacturing,” added Reichental, emphasizing that manufacturing in general is headed towards a hybrid of both traditional and new processes.
In addition to direct metal printing, Techniplas will also be using UV polymer curing 3D printing systems. These will enable the company to quickly and efficiently develop complex and lightweight automotive components from plastic.
The new additive manufacturing center is part of Techniplas’ larger effort to digitize its business, a goal that is being helped along by the company’s Digital division, established to accelerate “the migration of smart technologies from the edge of development to the company’s core operations.”
According to Reichental, Techniplas is prepared for the shift thanks to its long history of design and manufacturing within the automotive industry. “Through deep learning capabilities and generative design, the company has the capacity to make new products and services that are reshaping mobility,” the company says.
As part of its digitization process, Techniplas is aiming to expand upon its cognitive connective systems for auto applications. These include air and water management systems; smart grille shutters, which help to improve aerodynamics and fuel efficiency; and cognitive lighting systems, which are designed to improve communication between car, driver, and pedestrians.
“For decades, we’ve been designing and making some of the most complex and challenging components and assemblies for the automotive industry,” said Chief Operating Officer Manfred Kwade. “Now we’re applying this knowledge to the new age of automotive design and manufacturing to make our customer’s journey to digital mobility a reality.”
While the company is based in Nashotah, Wisconsin, Techniplas will be implementing its new digital technologies globally, including in Germany and Switzerland, where it has R&D centers. The company is reporteldy also planning a digitized, data-centric management system which will connect its facilities around the globe.
To aid in the digitization process, Techniplas has also partnered with a number of companies and institutions including Stanford University, ParaMatters, Rinspeed, Nexa3D, and XponentialWorks, which was founded by Reichental.
Posted in 3D Printer Company
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