3D printer can be used to produce molds with customer-specific refiner segment patterns
Valmet, a global supplier of process technologies and services for the pulp, paper and energy industries, is to adopt 3D printing technology in its manufacturing process.
Becoming one of the first technology suppliers in the pulp and paper field, Valmet is integrating 3D technology to shorten lead times.
The Finnish company believe the incorporation of 3D printing can enable it to produce more modern products, leaving more traditional production processes behind.
“3D printing is an excellent example of an emerging technology that has huge potential to be exploited widely in Valmet in the future,” said Ari Saario, R&D Director at Valmet. “We have taken a big step towards offering next-generation products without being limited by yesterday’s production processes.”
So far, Valmet has been successfully using the technology to manufacture moulding patterns and selected spare parts at its recently-opened 3D Competence Centre in Sundsvall, Sweden. The printing materials used for these processes include aluminium, Inconel and type 316L steel. Workers at the centre are continuously running trials with various printing materials and exploring ideas for products that can be printed with a 3D printer.
The benefits of 3D printing for pulp and paper mills lie in shorter lead times, especially when a new mould is needed for a customer-specific pattern. It will also make it possible for Valmet to print parts on demand for rapid delivery. Adopting this production method means cutting the time to market for new products. Valmet will be able to easier produce patterns and parts regardless of shape. Additionally, tool requirements will no longer present any restrictions.
A leading developer and supplier of process technologies, automation and services for the pulp, paper and energy industries, Valmet operate on a global scale. Its efficient technology offering includes pulp mills, tissue, board and paper production lines, as well as power plants for bioenergy production.