Ricoh has announced that it will replace the traditional metal molds with 3D print fixtures and fixtures on the Stratasys Fortus 900mc system. By integrating 3D printing tools at Miyagi Prefecture Production Technology Center in Japan, Ricoh improves operating costs and creates more cost-effective streamlined lines.
Japan's main production of Ricoh is a series of high-speed copiers. The current per capita population is about 200 pieces and is done manually on the workbench.
Due to the large number of products we produce, we need to spend a lot of time and effort to determine the correct fixture and fixture testing for each part," said Sakazaki Yuki, senior manager of business development at Ricoh Group.
"With the increase in the number of components, this manual process becomes more and more long, requiring the operator to remove the tool and put it back to its original fixture before checking the shape, direction and angle of each part.
In order to strengthen the process of the operator, Ricoh proposed a new rotary table, which can be faster assembly time. In addition, the company will 3D print as a possible solution to redesign "cumbersome" fixtures and fixtures to match its manufacturing time.
Fused deposition modeling (FDM) and selective laser sintering (SLS) polymer 3D printing techniques are highlighted as the two technologies best suited for the purpose.
After comparing the two, Ricoh engineers selected FDM technology for available materials. Implemented by the Industrial Fortus 900mc system, Ricoh can use its multi-material FDM function to implement its tools, and non-conductive and heat-resistant polymers can be used to assemble consumer electronics.
In addition to versatility, Ricoh can also reduce the weight and cost of its machined parts. For example, a solid metal fixture, once a weight of 20 kg, has now been reduced to high strength ABS parts weighing less than 1 kg.
In another application in Portugal, Volkswagen Europa can save $ 160,000 in mold costs by switching to 3D print fixtures and fixtures.
"Now, with Stratasys 3D printing, we can customize the tools according to our customers and produce them on demand, which helps us to reorganize and modernize our production processes," Sakaki said.