Technologies

An automated digital manufacturing platform for functional fluid deposition and discrete material placement.


Abstract/Technology Overview

The technology offers a Pilot-Line, automated digital manufacturing platform with integrated safety systems. The Pilot-Line is CE marked, safety certified system, capable of testing and validating digital manufacturing systems within pre-existing production lines. The Pilot-Line is also capable of delivering small quantity production and pre & post-production manufacturing.

The system uses a patented print-head technology that allows digital deposition of functional fluids and high-viscosity powders.  By allowing digital deposition of functional fluids and viscous materials, this platform overcomes multiple issues associated with manual deposition methods such as poor finish quality, lack of manufacturing consistency, material wastage, restricted throughput, restrictive minimum batch quantities and lack of late-stage customisation.


Technology Features, Specifications and Advantages

The Pilot-Line platform is a complete digital manufacturing solution, CE-marked and ready to implement into production lines.

Some key technical features include:

  • Fully automated motion systems running on Beckhoff control systems
  • Flexible head mounting configuration to allow for variable types and numbers of print heads
  • CE marked with integrated safety systems

Configurable for existing production line integration, conveyor manufacturing or moving platens.


Potential Applications

Pilot-Line solution provides a manufacturing platform for a range of applications across a number of sectors, including:

Energy:

  • Localised manufacturing of 3D photovoltaic (PV) solar panels
  • Automated, digital deposition of adhesives and electrolytes for batteries

Automotive:

  • Late-stage components customisation & personalisation
  • Digitised, automated component and panel coating

Consumer Products:

  • Late-stage product personalisation
  • Late-stage packaging & labelling personalization

Aerospace:

  • In-field finishing/repair of components and panels
  • Deposition of high-strength materials (e.g. graphene)


Customer Benefit

By allowing digital deposition of functional fluids and viscous materials, this platform provides a digital alternative to manufacturing processes that currently rely on manual techniques such as screen printing or application by hand.

This provides a number of benefits, including:

  • Greater consistency of finish
  • Reduced material wastage
  • Increased production throughput
  • No minimum batch quantities
  • Ability to provide late-stage customisation

OVERVIEW
Contact Person

Kieron Salter

Organisation

Department for International Trade (British High Commission)

Technology Category
  • Additive Manufacturing
  • Assembly / Automation / Robotics
  • Secondary Process
  • Surface Finishing/Modification
Technology Readiness Level
  • TRL 8