AMFG Collaborates with Innovate UK on Autonomous 3D Printing Machine

13 April 2024
Feedstock Management

London, March 2024: AMFG is thrilled to announce that we are partnering with Batch.Works in a £475,000 project funded by Innovate UK to build a 3D printing machine that can autonomously change between filaments without human intervention.

AMFG is set to enhance the project’s capabilities by developing control of Batch.Work’s machine schedule, empowering seamless communication and task assignment to the autonomous machine. This initiative reflects our commitment to advancing remote machine control capabilities for enhanced operational efficiency and streamlined workflows. 

 

Project Aims

 

AMFG is a market-leading manufacturing execution and workflow automation system providing software to large and small businesses that manufacture for in-house use or as a service. A clear area of growth is through increased automation via control of manufacturing technology (machine orchestration).  Through the Feedstock Management project, we plan to enhance our value proposition for existing and new customers by implementing principles like automated scheduling, material management, and machine orchestration. This initiative aims to reduce onboarding costs, facilitate business growth by expanding our team to serve additional customers, and further enhance our offering. As a cloud-based SaaS and automation-focused product, its utility is optimized when used with AMFG’s services, providing indirect protection.

Batch.Works current offering is popular within Homeware, Medical, and Sustainable fashion. However, this is limited by the time taken to schedule and manage the printers producing the parts. By automating and robotizing this solution, the cost per part and lead time will be significantly decreased, and by deploying microfactories the environmental impact will be reduced too. This enables additive manufacturing to rival traditional injection molding and CNC markets, which would represent additional environmental savings from removing tooling and waste. 

Consequently, the innovation will improve productivity by freeing up workers and allow the business to grow by making its offering applicable to larger markets with a green appeal that appeals to businesses and consumers of its products. The system built will be leased and intellectual property rights obtained, however the highly complex and custom nature of interacting with Batch.Work’s existing printers will make it difficult to replicate.

 Jared Bellingham, Lead Engineer at Batch.Works commented:

Batch. Works has recently completed an 18-month £1.8M IUK project where we developed a fully autonomous FDM machine that can print continuously without human intervention. This project leads on from that pushing the automation further up the chain to allow for material to be managed autonomously at a factory level. The hope is that at the end of this project Batch.Works can set up distributed factories that can run autonomously overnight or even over extended periods of time and be managed by very few operators.

Working with AMFG is exciting as they bring a wealth of knowledge about factory management solutions and remote machine control technologies.

feedstock management
Image: Maria Teneva

Project Outcomes

 

The collaborative project boasts comprehensive benefits across environmental, economic, regional, and social dimensions. Environmentally, it makes additive manufacturing more appealing, minimizing material wastage compared to subtractive processes like CNC machining. Distributed production reduces carbon emissions by shortening transportation distances, while the use of recyclable feedstocks and automation contributes to a circular economy and energy efficiency. 

Economically, the automated micro factories lower part costs, shorten lead times, and enhance supply chain efficiency, making UK manufacturing competitive globally. Regionally, the manufacturing-as-a-service approach stimulates economic activity, creating direct and indirect job opportunities and fostering resilient regional supply chains. Socially, the project improves quality of life through affordable, high-quality products, promotes social inclusion and empowerment through job opportunities, and enhances health and safety via automated processes.

As the industrial 3D-printing market experiences rapid expansion, driven by imperatives for cost and waste reduction, Batch.Works and AMFG position themselves as leaders, offering cutting-edge solutions that not only meet but exceed the evolving needs of our clients.

 

About AMFG

AMFG is a leading provider of MES software for manufacturing. Our software solutions empower manufacturers, allowing them to manage their workflows and achieve streamlined, automated processes.

 

With over 500 successful implementations in 35 countries and across a range of industries, we specialize in enabling companies to successfully integrate our software for AM and CNC production, into their wider manufacturing processes and scale their AM operations. 

 

For more information, please visit www.amfg.ai or contact: press@amfg.ai

Find out more about Batch.Works here

 

Shares
0

Subscribe to our newsletter

Get our best content straight to your inbox

Thank you for subscribing!

You'll receive our latest content every week, straight to your inbox.

Book demo

    Request sent successfully!

    Thank you for submitting a demo request. A member of our Sales Team will be in touch shortly.