Home Industry Oerlikon Balzers: More Flexibility in the Surface Finishing of AM Components

Oerlikon Balzers: More Flexibility in the Surface Finishing of AM Components

To be more flexible in the surface finishing of additively manufactured components for prototypes and small series, Oerlikon Balzers, a technology brand of the Oerlikon Group, has purchased two M1 Basic systems from AM-Solutions for its laboratory in Liechtenstein. The all-round solution ensures high-quality surfaces, prior and after the coating process, with a result that can be reproduced at any time.

Oerlikon Balzers is a global provider of highly wear-resistant coatings that significantly improve the performance and service life of precision components, cutting and forming tools. The R&D department in Balzers, where thin-film coatings and future innovations are developed, has decided to equip its own laboratory with a system for the surface treatment – before and after coating – of conventional and additively manufactured components. Balzers’ industrial PVD coatings are then applied to the components and tested on abrasion and wear in the laboratory. The choice fell on two M1 Basic systems from AM-Solutions.

Shorter response times and simplified process testing in a lab environment

Especially in R&D, tests to ensure the process reliability and robustness are required which often requires numerous tests to be carried out.

Oerlikon’s production sites often have special customer requests and needs. It was therefore decided, that the R&D and Production Technologies department in Balzers also provides in-house surface finishing capabilities, such as the new M1 Basic systems, which help shorten project timelines.

System flexibility as an advantage

A decisive advantage of the M1 Basic used in Oerlikon’s Lab is that it can be integrated completely flexibly into processes. It is extraordinarily compact and has an integrated process water circuit that allows it to be used independently of a fixed location.

“The M1 Basic is a system that offers a wide range of surface treatment options and is also absolutely flexible in use. For example, the work area can be divided into different segments so that different processes can run on the machine at the same time,” explains Simon Kresser, Project Engineer for mechanical pre- & post-treatment at Oerlikon.

This allows different sample parts to be processed in one step. It is also possible to process components with different abrasives. For example, the surface can first be scrubbed and smoothed during a roughening step with aggressive media and is then finished to a high gloss with a fine polishing media.

The M1 Basic is also particularly user-friendly and is suitable for both individual parts and small batches. It has an intelligent controller and can be used as required thanks to the integrated software solution. To limit noise disturbance in laboratory, the M1 Basic works with a maximum of 78 decibels, only about as loud as a car.

Find out more about Oerlikon Balzers at oerlikon.com.

For more information about AM Solutions, please visit solutions-for-am.com.

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