The first thing to look for in any Manufacturing Execution System (MES) is its ability to define operations and detailed sequencing. We will share how this relates to Additive Manufacturing.
Once parts are 3D printed, life after production will vary from part-to-part, especially for industrial 3D printing.
Post-Processing and Finishing Steps to improve quality and ensure the part meets design specifications may include:
Sanding to smooth out a rough material
Bead Blasting to get a smooth matte surface
Shot Peening to increase strength and durability
Heat Treatments to strengthen the part by reducing tensile pressure
Tumbling to polish delicate parts
Vapor Smoothing and Solvent Dipping to even out surface with a shiny finish
Epoxy Coating to create an airtight seal around the part and increase resistance to high temperatures and various chemicals
As for Quality inspection, this may include visual inspections with the bare eye, or CT Scanning to ensure the overall quality is within tolerances.An MES solution for Additive Manufacturing must be flexible enough for an application engineer, lab technician or facility rep to sequence each step required for each part in an order from 3D printing production, post-processing and finishing, all the way through quality inspection.
An added bonus would be an MES solution that includes a built-in yield management system with quality assurance checks at each stage to ensure the proper requirements are met and accounted for, in order to help route orders that must be reproduced.
11. Document Management
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