3D printing boosts innovation at SMS group

SMS group has taken advantage of 3D printing technology to develop new spray heads for forging presses.

3D printing, claims the company, permits extremely lightweight and compact 3D spray heads to be produced that are tailored to the conditions of the respective dies.

“Flexible actuation of individual nozzles paired with fast handling and a homogeneously distributed mist shortens press cycle times and extends the service life of the dies,” says SMS group.

According to SMS, spray heads fitted in closed-die forging presses serve to remove scale from the dies between the individual press strokes, to cool the surface, to apply lubricants and dry the die surface. “Performing these activities, conventional spray heads reach their limits time and again,” the company claims.

When SMS group’s 3D printing-based spray heads started with a polyamide-based fine powder. The end result was parts that are 90% lighter than identical and conventionally produced components made of steel. “This allows the use of handling systems faster than those employed before,” says SMS.

The new 3D spray heads are claimed to shorten the non-productive times of the press and hence raise output. The little weight of the spray heads facilitates their installation and replacement while reducing wear of the handling systems. 

Linear, cam-controlled or Servo-motor-driven spray systems and industrial robots are offered, claims SMS.