P18721: Value Re-Engineering for Additive Manufacturing

Integrated System Build & Test

Table of Contents

Team Vision for Integrated System Build & Test Phase

During this phase, the team planned to receive quotes from all potential suppliers and order parts from the service bureau with the most attractive quote. Unfortunately, during this phase a major bottleneck was getting NDAs in place with suppliers to be able to openly communicate and discuss what is needed for those quotes. Once the NDAs were signed, a technical review was set up to ensure the service bureau satisfactorily understood the specifics of what Gleason is looking for, and to determine whether or not the service bureau would be able to meet the objectives. Currently we are waiting on the quote resulting from the technical review, and will likely proceed with purchasing the parts from the quote.

Additionally, more research has been conducted to find other similar service bureaus that will be able to provide the same level of completeness. Of the few comparable service bureaus that are found, communication is initiated to lead to more technical reviews. Along with these project objectives, other objectives are also seeing progress. These other objectives include a technical report, an ImagineRIT exhibit, a process flow document, etc.

Test Results Summary

Testing within the team is outside the scope of this project. Once parts come in from a service bureau, they will be subjected to the same tests that are used for traditional parts at Gleason. This will include mechanical tests as well as metallurgical, such as hardness, porosity, material microstructure, etc.

Risk and Problem Tracking

The risks have generally stayed the same from the last phase. This will intrinsically be the case for this project. The largest risks mostly revolve around lead times and dealing with companies other than our own, which will continue to be a risk for as long as there are other companies involved in the process. This affects lead time and reliability, at least until a well established system and relationship is set up with the other companies. This project will never see this happen, as it takes time to establish such a relationship, however it is on the right track. The only thing this means for the risk document is many of the risks are there to stay.

The updated Risk Document can be found here.

While the risk document is staying somewhat constant, the problem tracking document is slowly growing as the team is getting further in the process. Similar to the risks, the problems document is revolving around the reliability of working with other companies. Firstly, it is difficult to find service bureaus that meet Gleason's needs. The driving factor of this difficulty is materials, as carburizable tool steels are not readily available in additive manufacturing with today's technology, especially when taking other factors into account such as affordability, dimensional tolerances, surface roughness, and repeatability. Once a capable service bureau is found, another problem arises, which is NDAs and lead times. Every service bureau capable of doing what Gleason wants will want to protect its assets, which leads to difficulties in signing NDAs and getting a process in motion. Once NDAs are signed, it still takes a while to get quotes and be able to purchase anything. These problems are intrinsic to the nature of the project, as dealing with other companies is unavoidable within the project's scope. Similar to the risks, these problems will not go away until a reliable relationship is made with a capable service bureau.

The updated Problem Tracker is located here.

Functional Demo Materials

The presentation and notes from review can be found through the following links:

Plans for next phase

By the end of the next phase and the end of the project, the team would like to provide a technical paper and hand off the process and discovered service bureaus to Gleason. To save future time for Gleason, the team will be able to provide Gleason with a spreadsheet of suppliers researched in North America to narrow down on the service bureaus that have the needed capability. The team would also like to provide a flowchart of the process Gleason will have to follow to order an AM part. Time and budget permitting, the team will also give Gleason prototypes of the assigned parts.

Each individual on the project team has personal goals to help accomplish the final state of the project, which can be found in the following link: Individual Goals for Final Phase

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