WP16 – AM.Ceramic

WP16 – AM.Ceramic

In Portugal, the ceramics industry has a long, age-old tradition that is widely recognized for the quality demonstrated in terms of colors, durability, low maintenance and adaptability. Despite significant changes in the production paradigms in ceramic markets, with the progressive adoption of additive manufacturing systems, this transition has been less noticeable in mass production, which is essential for the development of companies in this sector.

It is crucial to find alternatives to promote differentiation and bring notoriety to the ceramic products market, increasing quality, design and technological innovation, both in products and processes. This evolution aims to adapt production structures to a technological situation where mass production can be performed in established companies, creating an offer that combines quality, high added value, cost reduction, eco-efficiency and greater functional diversification.

Considering this challenge, there are several constraints, including:

  • Existing additive manufacturing systems that are insuficiently automated for mass production: Existing systems are more oriented towards reduced production in laboratory environments and are not optimized for mass production. They generally have unitary material reloading and individual manufacturing platforms that need to be changed manually.
  • High production time associated with mold manufacturing using traditional methods: Plaster molds present challenges, since they require specialized labor, significant time for manufacturing, prolonged drying time between productions and reduced life cycle. This process increases production times and the amount of used materials (plaster).
  • Traditional methods limit the creation of parts with complex geometries: Available conventional production processes make it difficult to manufacture ceramic components with complex shapes, which restricts the creativity and aesthetic differentiation of value-added parts.
  • Waste of raw material and, consequently, energy: During the manufacturing processes, there is waste of raw material, representing an energy expenditure that is reflected in the final price of the product, due to the need for reprocessing the raw material, which must go through the conformation process before returning to the production line.

This project aims to research and develop an integrated manufacturing methodology for the ceramic industry, incorporating additive manufacturing techniques and the application of computational tools implemented on the factory floor.

The optimization of existing industrial processes aims to create a technological situation that is capable of enabling the development of value-added products on a mass production scale.

Related Products, Processes and Services (PPS)

Involved Entities

Inov.AM - Inovação em Fabricação Aditiva

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