Aircom > Innovation in 3D

Innovation in 3D

21 July 2022

Innovation and creativity in AIRCOM®

These have always been two fundamental points for designing and manufacturing safe and reliable products: this is the secret of AIRCOM®, which in recent years has had a decisive boost in investments in this field. The innovation of machinery and the digital transformation of the production process are the pillars on which the company strategy is based, with the aim of creating concrete and customized solutions to meet the most diverse requests.

What does personalization mean?

The products in our catalog are very diversified and cover most of the spraying or misting needs. The necessities of the market are constantly evolving and, with the advancement of new technologies and application methods, there is an increasing need to have a customized product that perfectly meets specific project needs.
In AIRCOM® the challenge is to create completely new products, specifically designed for the customer and perfectly adapted to his needs. To do this, we rely on:
– our experience of more than 50 years in the design and manufacture of spray guns
– the presence of an internal R&D department, which is responsible for the design and constant development of new products.
But how does all this happen? Let’s find out.

What are the stages in the design of a new product?

The first phase is that of preliminary analysis: the specific needs and requests of the customer are analyzed, focussing above all on the technical requirements that the product must have: therefore, the technical data, the pressures and the working conditions are fundamental , in case the work environment is particularly aggressive (with very high or low temperatures or requiring the use of aggressive solvents).
The products catalogue is then analyzed, to check if there are similar products that can be adapted to new needs. In the case of special products, the project is created from scratch, considering the overall dimensions of the product and the internal technical characteristics.
The actual design of the gun takes place through CAD, Davide from the R&D department explains: “Thanks to our in-depth experience in the field, each component is carefully developed and designed, defining its coding and geometric tolerances, in order to obtain a product concept ready for subsequent series production “. There is therefore no difference compared to the design of a product in materials such as brass or aluminum: this allows precision in the coding of the product details, and greater speed in case the prototyped product is approved and inserted in the production cycle.
Once the project and the design have been approved, we move on to the prototyping and printing phase in the new 3D printer recently introduced in the company.

How is the prototype printed?

After sending the drawing from the CAD to the printer and checking the functionality of the machine, the printing is launched: the technology implemented in AIRCOM® uses Nylon 12 powder, which is sintered through the laser by the printer. The high internal temperature of the printing chamber (which reaches 180°C) allows the solidification of the powder in the points indicated in the drawing: in the presence of holes or gaps, the powder, even if present, is not sintered and is removed later.
The dust removal process is manual and requires precision and attention: the prototype is unpacked from the non-solidified powder envelope and is cleaned in all its parts and holes, ensuring the full functionality of the product.
The printing of the prototype requires waiting times that vary from the quantity of layers to be printed and from the density of the agglomeration of parts inside, explains Davide: with the products prototyped so far, the printing lasted less than 12 hours and, also considering the time dedicated to unpacking and cleaning, the time to have a complete prototype in hand is about 24 hours.

What are the benefits?

There are some advantages to mention:
– waiting times: they are extremely short, as one day is enough to get a concrete idea of ​​what your product will be like
– it is a sustainable process: the unsintered powder is recycled and used in subsequent prints. About 70% of the excess nylon powder is recovered and used in the production of new prototypes, enabling waste to be reduced.
– the finished product is functional: “It allows the nebulization of air without any problem, and no major contraindications have emerged  even in the tests with water nebulization carried out so far”, says Davide. “It gives you the time to evaluate that the product is valid and suitable from a dimensional point of view, in order to be able to start mass production.”
This is the secret of AIRCOM®: innovation and creativity that blend with new technologies.


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