Crane hooks are usually manufactured by casting or forging, while Huisman's 3D printing technology seems to indicate the application of new manufacturing technologies in the future. This unique arc and arc additive manufacturing (WAAM) technology can be used to produce medium to large components of high-grade tensile steel, including a large four-claw hook with a self-printing weight of nearly 1000 kg. Compared with common forging or casting methods, using 3D printing technology to manufacture crane hooks not only means lower time cost, but also ensures relatively stable quality.
WAAM technology can not only be used in crane hook manufacturing, Huisman can also use it to manufacture other components with complex shape or short delivery time, which can be replaced by local materials, and constantly improve the wear resistance and corrosion resistance of printing parts.
This successful test means that Huisman can now use WAAM to make reliable components, knowing that this is physically impossible, or that it was not feasible in previous commercial production.
In the near future, Huisman also plans to further improve the WAAM process and manufacturing capacity by reducing technology costs to produce structural parts weighing up to 2,500 kilograms.
3D printing, known as the "sharp weapon of the industrial revolution", is initiating a new round of technological innovation. Its advantages lie in that it can avoid the development and opening of complex metal parts, shorten the development cycle of new products and save more manpower, financial resources and time. Moreover, it can ensure that the mechanical properties and accuracy of metal parts meet the requirements of forging parts, and ensure the accuracy and strength requirements of parts.
Not only cranes, 3 printing will also become a powerful driving force for the digital transformation of the entire construction machinery industry. However, at present, domestic enterprises focus on 3D printing mostly in the field of low-end hardware equipment. In December 2017, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology and other 12 departments jointly issued the Plan of Action for the Development of Additional Manufacturing Industry (2017-2020), which made a detailed plan for the 3D printing industry, aiming at accelerating the progress of 3D printing from industry introduction to growth.
The inflection point of industrialization may further inspire the thinking transformation and innovation idea of construction machinery industry, apply advanced technology to R&D and manufacturing as soon as possible, and break the pattern that key equipment and core components depend on imports.