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Shorten Product Development Cycles with Additive Manufacturing

June 4, 2021

by Vivian Pavlov

Kennametal Employee Additive Manufacturing
Head shot of wear expert Mike Orange

Meet the Additive Manufacturing Expert: With 37 years in manufacturing and over 25 years of experience in binder jetting and additive manufacturing, Mike Orange currently serves as a Senior Engineer of Operations for Kennametal’s Additive Manufacturing business.  Throughout his career, he has held various design and operations engineering positions and spent time in the aerospace sector.

“When there is a difficult part that is too heavy or can’t be produced through traditional machining, we analyze the part and evaluate where we can take weight out and still provide the same strength and wear.  We can produce more complex parts—faster.  This is where the additive manufacturing process shines.”

Contact one of our wear experts.

Q: What are the capabilities at Kennametal’s Additive Manufacturing research and development, prototyping, and production center in Latrobe, Pennsylvania?

Mike Orange: We utilize laser powder bed and binder jet printing technologies, combined with post-print processing capabilities, including sintering, hot isostatic pressing and machining, to produce fully finished components for our customers. The Additive technologies applied are driven by component end use requirements and resulting material composition necessary to meet customer specifications.

Our Kennametal Additive Manufacturing (AM) Tungsten Carbide and StelliteTM material families offer a step change in wear and corrosion performance compared to other metal 3D materials systems.

Q: What is our process for partnering with customers?

We work in close collaboration with customers to optimize their design concepts and unlock the full value of additive manufacturing.  Our goal is to help our customers bring their product to market faster, easier, with the potential to be more cost efficient over the life of the product.

After we get an inquiry to evaluate a customer’s part, we go through a feasibility and design collaboration among a Kennametal cross-functional team of technical wear experts.  Design optimization for additive and material selection is discussed with our customer, ensuring it is the most effective solution for their specific wear application.  

Typically, a customer requests an initial protype and conducts their own testing.  After we get their feedback, we finalize the design and go into a larger quantity of production.  This process enables us to understand our customer’s wear challenge and helps us figure out how we can add value to their total cost of operations at the beginning of our collaboration.  

Once the part goes into full scale operations, we go through our sequence of making sure we hit customer specs.  We scale and test their part.  We also go through full inspection and ensure material certifications are met.  

Our team truly offers a full end-to-end additive manufacturing solution to our customers from design to material to production.  Elevating our customers’ performance through this unique capability is at the forefront of our operation.  

seven components produced by additive manufacturing

Prototyping of functional metal parts to shorten development cycles and design iterations—so you can bring products to market faster and easier.

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