Advanced manufacturing is a crucial keyword in 4.0 industrial world. It is not only able to improve processes and efficiency in the whole spectrum of industrial sectors, but it’s also vital to meet the challenges that define the transition from mass production to mass customization.
After some funny clues we had about the powerful means of 3D printing in the 2018 edition of Maker Faire, today we interview Roboze: a EU startup based in Italy and US, founded by the 28 years old Alessio Lorusso, who ranked among the top 30 under 30s most influent in the industrial sector according to Forbes. Roboze won the EY 2018 startup of the year award thanks to its incredible performance KPIs and the cutting edge solutions in industrial 3D printing that involve super polymers. Roboze provides 3D printing tech to big producers with a patented process that allows to manufacture special parts resisting to extreme testing and is particularly effective in metal replacement for aerospace, oil&gas, racing, defense, automotive and many more industrial applications.
Tell us about Roboze and share three tips you would give to a startupper in your industry
Roboze is the brainchild of Alessio Lorusso, 28 from Bari, Italy and is based in US and Italy manufacturing 3D printers for big industrial producers like General Electric US, Airbus, Bosch, Honeywell, Dallara Automobili, Iveco. The company delivered a 4X increase in its revenue in the last two years and it’s headed to overcome the 2 million euros revenue milestone in 2018, with a 75% share of export. Roboze technology is designed and manufactured in Bari, Italy and is also aimed to established a further developed structure in the North American market with its Roboze inc. branch. Three tips I’d share with a startupper are:
- never lose your focus on the final goal
- never give up, especially in the gloomy periods that may occur in the early stages
- rely on a valuable team
Advanced manufacturing and industry 4.0 are a competitive challenge now and in the near future. What are the solutions you provide and where’s the hard part of the challenge?
Roboze develops, designs, manufactures 3D printers with FFF 3D technology, the most accurate now available. A state of the art tech to print hi performance polymers with extreme applications. Our company defined a new standard in the 3D printing technology supporting its customers in aviation, aerospace, defense and manufacturing to reduce their time to market, improve efficency, cut costs, and lead innovation processes. Today we have three series of 3D printers available: a desktop series with Roboze One and Roboze One + 400, suitable to print functional prototypes and finished components that are repeatable and with a positioning precision of 25 micron; a production/desktop series that we launched in Frankfurt Fromnext 2018, evolving the desktop series to a new generation of 3DFFF printers: Roboze One Xtreme and Roboze One + 400 Xtreme. Further more accurate, innovative and operating with new engineered materials suitable to far more extreme industrial applications. Finally we have the production series: from prototyping to the production of large-scale finished parts with Argo 500, the first printer in the production series Roboze. Its large print volume of 50 cm x 50 cm x 50 cm allows users to meet the growing need to print high-volume parts with high-performance plastics.
Today, more than 1,000 models of over 300 manufacturers are on the market, of which about seventy produce industrial machines (over $ 5,000) and a dozen hybrid systems that integrate additive, subtractive (CNC) and robotics production.
The value of goods produced with additive manufacturing is around 1% of the global manufacturing market, but is expected to increase significantly over the next few years. This trend, which seems very slow, is certainly due to the speed with which 3D printing solutions innovate. The AM market sees daily implementations and new discoveries and technologies on an annual basis, so radical innovations often scare end users who fear investing in a machine that will soon be obsolete. Other barriers, from the point of view of supply, are mainly linked to the search for qualified personnel. The 3D printing technology has only recently seen the interest of universities and governments, so it is difficult for companies to find staff specialized in AM systems. Today, the whole world is aware that this new industrial revolution, given the speed of corporate innovation, is becoming more and more a reality and, of course, governments and universities are investing a lot in training and updating the skills of the new generations.
Practical limits for both plastic and metal AM are: speed of printing / production, mechanical properties of materials and qualification of processes and materials for the production of final parts as in Aerospace.
According to your experience, tell us three sectors in which you see the best reactivity of companies on new technologies such as yours, still expressing high potential.
The industries that are pursuing the use of AM for production are certainly aerospace, defense and energy with an estimated CAGR of over 20% over the next 5 years. Following, far from important, the medical and educational industries.
The top trend is in the production of equipment and work masks (Jigs & Fixtures) in their production lines. 3D printing is a unique process that does not require molds, assemblies, etc. And the opportunity to produce their own tools at home, reducing production costs, including inventory costs, is an opportunity for manufacturing companies that can not be ignored. Having the ability to do it with technical materials suitable for testing the same instruments also brings added value to the interest of these companies.
Can you share a successful case history in the manufacturing industry with the application of your technology solutions?
Sure! The realization of a customized interface flange in Carbon PA, polyamide loaded with carbon fiber, for a specific application of handling of soft materials, obtained thanks to the combined work between a pneumatic gripping system and a 6-axis robotic system, designed and produced by Caracol Studio.
The project required the use of a mechanically performing material: the choice fell on Carbon PA, a filament in polyamide with carbon fiber added. This approach, in addition to being cheaper than traditional, has allowed the customer to receive a fully functional piece with a contemporary design and attractive, designed and created specifically for the non-standard processing required, much lighter and able to increase the processing speed of the robot, and therefore overall productivity.
Another way to do it, simply doesn’t exist.
[header photo by rawpixel on Unsplash – thank you!]