DENSO Invests in Start-up to Deploy New Additive Manufacturing Technology
Together using digital technology, the two companies are hoping to rapidly advance manufacturing for components that exist in nearly every vehicle on the road today.
Denso, a multibillion-dollar global mobility supplier, announced they have invested in Seurat Technologies, a start-up additive manufacturing company.
In this partnership, Denso will help provide Seurat with a better structure for manufacturing. This aid comes with Denso’s fiscal stability and 70+ years of experience in manufacturing. With this collaboration, the two companies are setting out to create safer, cleaner, and more sustainable products for the industry.
Seurat aims to take laser powder bed metal printing to the next level. The process of powder bed metal printing involves working with very fine-tuned welding of intricate structures. This technology has existed for a while now, but Seurat is working to achieve a higher standard of precision.
Seurat can manipulate laser light to focus on two million points on a metal powder print bed. Seurat expects their turnaround time for parts to be much faster than other laser powder bed metal printing providers with this achievement.
Video used courtesy of Seurat Technologies
With more detail in the initial process, less post-processing needs to be performed to get the prints out of the door. For each point on the print bed, the laser can be focused on such fine detail by controlling the power and duration of the laser.
Seurat gained investment and support from Denso and has raised 13.5 million dollars in their series A round of funding in 2018. They have also raised 41 million dollars in their series B round of funding most recently.
Industry 4.0 Technology
Additive manufacturing is on the rise, and some speculate that it could replace conventional die cast molding by the year 2030. Conventional die cast molding takes time to build tooling. With additive manufacturing, the tooling is ready to go as soon as you upload the part file.
This is especially important because part design is an iterative process. Features and dimensions change every day. Unfortunately, every time a design changes, it is unethical to produce a tool for each change. This could be detrimental for companies spending capital on useless tools.
One of DENSO's innovation centers where they are working to expand their manufacturing techniques. Image used courtesy of DENSO
Traditional means of manufacturing would be considered subtractive manufacturing. Additive manufacturing is thought to be more cost-effective due to its limited use of material. Subtractive manufacturing coincides with traditional milling, machining, and CNC milling processes.
A New Market
With advancing means of transportation and communication, the infrastructure behind each of these industries needs to reflect the vast changes. The demand is increasing, and supply chains need to keep up.
Denso and Seurat are working towards rapidly increasing their means of production to get electric vehicles on the road and decrease the carbon footprint.
By partnering on this Industry 4.0 technology, the companies hope to provide more sustainable efforts in additive manufacturing technology.