Sydney manufacturer Romar Engineering and CSIRO have co-invested in a new $1.25 million 3D printer to produce, and research, new advanced manufacturing products for the medical, aerospace and other sectors.
The new DMG Mori Lasertec 65 offers opportunities and production processes that were previously impossible in the pursuit of the manufacture of medical devices, body implants and components for engines and machines.
The union establishes a relationship that benefits both organisations in developing advanced manufacturing techniques for a global environment, working together to make products more quickly and create new opportunities.
“It is a model I am keen to repeat if there are other opportunities,” said CSIRO Manufacturing Director Keith McLean in an interview shortly after the partnership was announced.
The two organisations have a network of worldwide business partners in a broad array of industries. Romar’s precision manufacturing and testing equipment is certified to meet international standards, while CSIRO provides multi-disciplinary capability across many scientific fields.
“For us in CSIRO Manufacturing we want to work with high-tech manufacturing companies and do whatever we can to help them generate new products and markets. It’s absolutely vital to a first world economy that we make things,” says Dr Mclean.
Because CSIRO has coinvested in some of the equipment, scientists and engineers from CSIRO will be spending time in a Romar’s business, he notes.
“That gives us the opportunity to meet some of their customers along the way,” says Dr McLean.
Romar gains access to industry leading additive manufacturing expertise and equipment through CSIRO’s ‘Lab 22’ facilities in Lindfield (Sydney) and Clayton (Melbourne). CSIRO brings world class research in materials science, polymer chemistry, physics and engineering.
The Lastertec three-dimensional additive manufacturing machine is located at Romar’s workshops in Sefton, NSW.
“Collaboration between business and research is integral to Australia’s manufacturing future. CSIRO’s partnership with Romar Engineering is driving innovative solutions in advanced manufacturing generating jobs, skills and growth opportunities,” says Dr Mclean.
The Lasertec 65’s nozzle is up to 10 times faster than a powder bed based system. Coupled with its milling capabilities, this opens up new possibilities to manufacture larger products faster and in greater volume.
The system can produce complex 3D geometries , repair or coat complex parts like turbine casings and blades, guide vanes, impellers, propellers, multi material components, tubes and moulds with internal features.
Lab 22’s production techniques cover E-Beam, Laser, Blown-Powder; Cold Spray and Sand Printing. It can also process refractory metals, Ti/Ti Alloys, Cobalt Chrome, Nickel Alloys, Steel/Steel Alloys, Aluminium, Silica Sand and Composites.
Dr Mclean says much of the value in manufacturing is now is preproduction work and design and in post-production services resulting in highly skilled and high-value jobs.
“There are many innovative, collaborative manufacturers in Australia delivering to global markets. They are smart, agile and well connected,” he says.
Australia’s manufacturing sector employs about 900,000 people and accounts for over a quarter of business expenditure on research and development.
Romar, a contract manufacturing company servicing the medical, aerospace and industrial disciplines founded in 1968, caters for the needs of large multinational companies through to backyard inventors who require tooling, moulding, assembly and packaging services in plastics, silicones and rubber.