Remet S.A. – a leading European manufacturer of steel structures used in the oil and gas mining industry, opens a laboratory specializing in the production of prototypes made in 3D printing technology, which in terms of equipment and scale is one of the absolute leaders in the world. Located in Poland, Stalowa Wola, the company has installed one of the most modern 3D printers for metal on the market – DMP Flex 350 by 3D Systems, the first metallic powder atomizer in Poland ATO Lab and a whole range of devices and machines supporting additive production and enabling comprehensive research on materials. The project was implemented jointly with 3D Lab Sp. z o.o. – a leading distributor of industrial 3D printers in Poland and a producer of ATO Lab atomizers.

Remet has been on the market for over 10 years, specializing in the production of solutions used to extract oil and gas from the bottom of the seas and oceans. The end users of the company’s products are the largest mining companies in the world, such as BP, Statoil, GE Oil & Gas or ExxonMobil. It has 4 production halls, in which a total of 200 people work. Is equipped with one of the largest surfacing lines in Europe for oil and gas transport pipes with metal.

Remet Metal Labs is a new branch of the enterprise, where comprehensive projects at the intersection of research and development in the field of new industrial applications and additive production will be implemented. In addition to the above-mentioned 3D Systems printer and ATO Lab atomizer manufactured by 3D Lab, the laboratory has been equipped, among others scanning microscope with one of the largest on the market, sample scanning field, ultrasonic screening for separation of powders of a selected fraction, heat treatment furnace operating at temperatures up to 1200°C, laser welding station and machine for machining printed details. From the very beginning, 3D Lab has participated in the laboratory design process, providing the above-mentioned machines and equipment.

Remet also has a super-fast 3D Systems photopolymer printer – Figure 4, which allows printing auxiliary elements to created products, as well as testing ideas and solutions at the stage of so-called pre-processing.

An important element of the laboratory are two innovative systems for testing material samples and prototypes – the first allows testing the Young’s modulus by a non-destructive method, i.e. by measuring the speed of waves, and the second allows testing of natural frequency and “frequency response“.

The biggest advantage of Remet Metal Labs over other centers of this type is the combination of a modern 3D printing machine with metal with a 3D Lab atomizer – ATO Lab, which allows testing and production of a wide spectrum of powdered metal alloys, diversified in terms of chemical composition and fraction.

This is how Oswald Krasa, a metallurgy engineer from the company’s R&D department, describes it:

While creating the concept of the laboratory, the starting point was the atomizer. This is where the material production stage begins, which we use at a later stage, i.e. 3D printing. The goal of the Remet Metal Labs laboratory is to create conditions enabling very high flexibility in creating innovative solutions for powders and prototypes. It is specifically non-standard chemical compositions or recognition of the properties of standard materials in their lower and upper element content range, which allows increasing the precision and repeatability of parameters in relation to mechanical and microstructural properties.

The 3D Systems DMP Flex 350 3D printer has a function that allows you to adjust the power of the melting laser, so you can produce parts with variable properties. Oswald Krasa adds:

One of the main advantages of our concept is the open laser parameter control system. This is an additional functionality that we purchased to produce components with non-standard microstructures obtained by using variable laser parameters. The software during the creation of the project allows us to assign laser parameters to selected areas in the prototype geometry. As a result, the prototype can acquire unique properties adapted to the conditions of use with the designation of areas with greater flexibility or greater hardness. Such technological solutions are aimed at increasing the safety and durability of the product in areas of excessive wear,

Remet addresses its offer to existing customers as well as the automotive and aerospace industries, where the creation of specialized applications with unique physical or chemical properties is currently of enormous importance. Arthur Hallen – president of Remet S.A. sees the launch of the laboratory as a new chapter in the company’s history:

The mining industry as well as clients from the aerospace and automotive sectors are interested in incremental technologies. Remet Metal Labs is to be a fully independent entity earning on its own and making a living from its own production.

The investment Remet is worth EUR 2,8 mln and was co-financed with European funds. The implementation of the project was the responsibility of Warsaw’s 3D Lab – a leading distributor of industrial printers and the manufacturer of innovative atomizers for metallic powders – ATO Lab, which is gaining a growing reputation in the world.

This is how the project describes Jakub Rozpendowski – member of the board of 3D Lab:

Remet S.A. is an example of a highly conscious planning strategy and bold concept for building one of the most technologically advanced AM laboratories in this part of the world. It was with great pleasure that I participated in the selection of the appropriate equipment configuration and implementation of technical innovations in their Metal Lab. Remet has unique capabilities not only in the production of parts with complex geometries but also in the production of its own building material and the implementation of comprehensive quality control of created parts.

A precise electron microscope, non-destructive control methods, the freedom to produce your own metal powder and the ability to scale the size of printed parts are the invaluable advantages of the new AM laboratory in Europe and a significant competitive advantage of our client on the Oil & Gas market. Probably the machine park, rich in technological novelties, will also enable the company to start cooperation with the high technology market, e.g. in the aviation and automotive industries.

Paweł Ślusarczyk
CEO of 3D Printing Center. Has over 15 years' experience in buisiness, gained in IT, advertising and polygraphy. Part of 3D printing industry since 2013.

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