Why Siemens Energy Believes in an 3D-printed Future

Joern Schmuecker outlines the new AM use cases Siemens Energy has planned.

Before additive manufacturing and 3D printing became commonplace, Siemens Energy was an early adopter of the technology. Over a decade ago, most companies had yet to adopt additive manufacturing. However, Siemens Energy invested heavily in powder bed fusion (LPBF) technologies.

That investment paid off. Today, Siemens Energy successfully reduced development times, improved the efficiency of their industrial gas turbines, and built parts that reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Those advancements are just the beginning of Siemens Energy’s additive manufacturing strategy. Joern Schmuecker, senior vice president for large rotating equipment at Siemens Energy, was recently a guest of MakerVerse. He spoke about the future of additive manufacturing and why Siemens Energy helped launch MakerVerse as a joint venture.

Siemens Energy’s Additive Manufacturing Use Case

Complex heavy-duty machinery is at the center of Siemens Energy’s business. Their gas turbines often weigh more than 100,000 kilos, and their wind turbines stand more than 200 meters tall. These products are massive, but within them are high-tech components created through additive manufacturing. Those metal parts have greatly benefited Siemens Energy and its customers.

A Siemens Energy gas turbine

Through PBF additive manufacturing, Siemens Energy gained:

  • A 75% reduction in development times means it’s easier to validate products and bring them to market
  • 65% fewer resources used in the production process
  • 30% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions through improved designs and reduced production waste

Importantly, additive manufacturing helped Siemens Energy gain new flexibility when designing parts. This led to new geometries, more efficient power output, and improved cooling and heat transfer.

What do the experts have to say about additive manufacturing? Get AM insights in interviews with Honeywell Aerospace, McKinsey, and Deutsche Bahn.

An Expanded Additive Manufacturing Strategy

With additive manufacturing, Siemens Energy designs and develops highly-complex and IP-sensitive metal components in-house. They do this in facilities located throughout the U.S. and Europe. While those complex and sensitive components are essential, Siemens Energy saw the need to expand additive manufacturing to other use cases.

They needed an easier way to source spare parts, start small series production, and evaluate new technologies and materials. This would bring additive manufacturing to different units and discover new use cases. That’s why they helped launch MakerVerse, a platform for sourcing industrial parts.

Building with MakerVerse

With the MakerVerse platform, Siemens Energy can continue focusing on its critical parts and expanding upon its range of PBF printers. However, now they can leverage a new supply chain for different technologies and parts. With the expanded scope of materials and technologies provided on the MakerVerse platform, Siemens Energy can bring additive manufacturing to new use cases.

Siemens Energy can achieve all that while continuing to invest in in-house research and development opportunities. At the same time, capital expenditures can be reduced and refocused for operational spending.

The future of additive manufacturing is poised to grow within Siemens Energy and across industries. With MakerVerse, companies can easily leverage on-demand additive manufacturing services whether they’re looking for prototypes or end-use parts.