Gebo Cermex 3D Printed Toolings
At this year’s TCT Show + Personalize industry analyst and TCT columnist Todd Grimm suggested that we should all stop concentrating on the exciting and extraordinary applications of 3D printing and additive manufacturing technology and instead we should “Get excited about the mundane.” – see how forward thinking businesses are implementing the technology and seeing the huge potential benefits of the technology in the likes of jigs and fixtures.
One such company who are using 3D printing to good effect are French packaging machine manufacturers Gebo Cermex. For their efforts they received an innovation award at last month’s international packaging exhibition Emballage.
Gebo Cermex, who have a turnover of €400m, have implemented 3D printing to create toolings for their ER50 machine, a new automated case packing system.
The tools in question are grippers in order for the robot to collect items from a conveyor belt that should not be accumulated. Whereas traditionally the tooling would have been machined, SLS parts proved to be around 30% lighter than previous gripping heads and allowed for greater speed of the machine.
The 3D printing of this tooling is no doubt cheaper than machining the part and, importantly, should there be any damage to the gripping heads downtime should be less as parts can simply be replicated in the time it takes to print and reassemble.
The Emballage jury gave the innovation award to Gebo Cermax speficially for this implementation stating: “3D printing technology is gaining ground in the packaging sector and provides a true solution for suitable and cost-effective gripping tools.”