Cavriglia (Arezzo), 26 April 2019 – In Cavriglia, at the Enel Produzione’s Engineering and Technical Support Center of Santa Barbara, Enel and Prima Additive officially inaugurated the new Laserdyne® 795. The machine, recently installed at the plant, will allow the production and repair of metal components.
Laserdyne® 795 is a machine equipped with Laser Metal Deposition technology, developed by Prima Additive and customized, considering the needs of the energy production sector, in cooperation with Enel, the main energy producer and supplier in Italy. Enel’s choice of a direct energy deposition machine has been determined by the flexibility of this solution, both in terms of production and repair. This type of application allows to reduce warehouse time, reduce downtime of a plant or parts of it, and to save money, allowing to repair and reuse the same component.
Before the purchase, Enel evaluated many case studies related to the role of the efficiency of components and spare parts on efficiency and availability of power plants, in addition to number, average stock, economic value, and types of damage of the parts.
This innovative solution, together with expertise in the metallurgical and testing available in the Santa Barbara plant, as well as the experience in the field of design, simulation and operation, and plants maintenance, will constitute a new and concrete opportunity for Enel Produzione’s activity both in Italy and in the rest of the world, as well as for the other Group companies, contributing to excellence in terms of innovation and technology.
This tool, embracing the main concepts of Circular Economy, Industry 4.0, and sustainability, allows both to execute repairs and revamping on damaged components, and to create complex shapes and re-engineered parts.
Among the main characteristics of Laserdyne® 795, there is the laser head BeamDirector®, working on 5-axis, combined with a roto-tilting table, in order to allow the realization of parts using up to 7 degrees of freedom. This system allows two different deposition modes: the first involves the rotation of the part during the process, while in the second the laser head moves along the entire profile of the element. The working area is 1000x1000x1000 mm, an ideal space both for the need to repair large pieces, and for the construction of small parts.
The laser head has been developed specifically for direct energy deposition applications, and is equipped with four separate nozzles, which guarantee a uniform distribution of the powder at the melting point. Furthermore, the external powder supply system allows up to two materials to be processed simultaneously.
The main reasons that led Enel to choose a solution developed by Prima Additive were the size of the work volume, the 7 degrees of freedom that could facilitate the repairability of some items, and the possibility to execute complex shapes (original or re-engineered). Ather important featurea are the adjustable power of the laser source, the open scan parameters, the customized cad-cam, and the implementation of two separate powder adduction lines which, together with dust engineering aspects, allow a considerable development of the mechanical properties of the parts produced or repaired.
“The Enel’s Global Thermal Generation Division – said Enrico Viale, Head of Global Thermal Generation at Enel – positively assessed the adoption of this machine, located in Santa Barbara, in the framework of a comprehensive global process and assets digitalization program, that involves around 40 thermoelectric plants from Russia to South America. This will be a reference point for the activity of Enel in Italy, but also in the world. Internalization was chosen to progressively assume full mastery of the main technological drivers, first on simple and repetitive cases, then evolving towards repair and redesign of more complex parts, to constantly improve the availability of production plants”.
“Additive manufacturing is an Industry 4.0 technology that fits well with the digitalization strategy of the manufacturing sector. Like many technologies, it has an extremely wide range of potential applications, whose maturation passes through experimentation and implementation in production contexts – said Paolo Calefati, Vice President of Additive Manufacturing Business Development for Prima Industrie SpA – The collaboration with Enel is an example of a profitable open innovation strategy. The Santa Barbara laboratory is an excellence in the national territory for the study of the components used in the energy and thermal generation sector. The synergy between Enel’s competencies and those of Prima Industrie in mechatronics and laser based manufacturing, are the basis of this collaboration, aimed at the realization of a laser machine for direct deposition for the market of repairing and manufacturing of components for the energy sector. This collaboration is an important advance for Prima Industrie for the implementation of direct deposition additive manufacturing machines and for the development of repairing applications.”
Pictures: courtesy of Enel