25.01.2022

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Innovative spirit

Schubert continues to invest in 3D printing

It is no longer possible to imagine packaging processes without format parts sourced from the 3D printer. And this is why Schubert is pursuing a clear strategy to further increase the share of 3D printed parts. Within the Schubert Group, two specialised companies are working on making the practical process even more viable and accessible to the packaging industry: The Schubert Additive Solutions start-up is dedicated to the 3D printing of replacement and format parts, and will be introducing a 3D printer of its own in 2022. As a service provider, Schubert Fertigungstechnik produces 3D metal parts on systems that work with powder-based products and, more recently, 3D plastic parts using the in-demand SLS process.

Schubert Fertigungstechnik uses 3D printing for metal parts and, more recently, the SLS process for plastic parts.

Schubert Fertigungstechnik is establishing the SLS process for plastics printing

Schubert Fertigungstechnik does its own printing in its production facilities and supplies most of the printed parts to Gerhard Schubert GmbH, as well as to other customers. For some time now, the company has been producing 3D metal parts using the SLM process (selective laser melting). Now the SLS process for plastic parts, selective laser sintering, which is in high demand, has been added to their portfolio. Since autumn 2021, an SLS printer has been in production, which the manufacturer can now also use to produce 3D plastic parts. “One of the reasons we brought the process in house is because we at Schubert already purchase a lot of components from suppliers using the SLS process. We have decided to produce a certain proportion of them ourselves,” reports Marc Grieser, Managing Director of Schubert Fertigungstechnik. The advantage for the subsidiary is that all finishing processes such as turning and milling are already in place in the highly automated production facility. “This enables us to carry out the finishing work that is required on the printed parts ourselves and to supply our customers with complete components,” says Marc Grieser. With 60,000 SLS printed parts manufactured annually, this ensures an optimal delivery process for Schubert customers and long-term availability of the required components in their systems.

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The PARTBOX printer, like other Schubert products and machines, was designed by the Ottenwälder und Ottenwälder design agency.

New 3D printer from Schubert Additive Solutions for the in-house printing of plastic format parts

With PARTBOX, Schubert Additive Solutions has created a digital platform from which customers can call up certified print jobs in their own production facility and produce 3D parts themselves using a standard filament printer. What this means is that customised robot tools are available for all conceivable products. There is no need for the environmentally harmful and lengthy transport of new format parts, replacements are available quickly in the case of defective tools and it is possible to simply produce new format sets for altered products in house. Now this process is even more high-quality and reliable because the company developed its own 3D printer for its customers. Moreover, Schubert Additive Solutions will be supplying suitable plastic material in the future. The PARTBOX printer ensures a consistently high print quality, which further improves process reliability within the packaging machines and thereby efficiency in the packaging process for customers. The new printer is easily connected to the Internet via the LTE standard. Schubert Additive Solutions plans to start delivery in March 2022.

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3D printing brings significantly more flexibility to the packaging industry, as the organically shaped parts and ease of use enable easier and more flexible format changes – while delivering consistently high quality and process reliability. Manufacturers of consumer goods in particular benefit from additive manufacturing: Due to their fast availability, customised 3D format parts facilitate the smooth adaptation of packaging lines to new products every few weeks. With PARTBOX, Schubert Additive Solutions has created a complete system consisting of a digital platform and a 3D printer developed in-house along with the corresponding plastic printing material, with which customers can print high-quality format sets directly at their own operations.

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