Understanding Advanced Manufacturing Techniques

A model created in a laser sintering machine

Romar Engineering has been at the forefront of Australian manufacturing for over 50 years, and we’ve seen – and adapted to – major changes in industry practices. To deliver robust manufacturing solutions today, we know that manufacturers need innovative technology, broad capability and agility.

At Romar, our world class team utilises advanced manufacturing techniques and materials to provide our scalable and globally-orientated manufacturing solutions. We have full capability in the development, prototyping, testing, manufacture and renewal of superior quality components and parts.

Here’s our guide to the advanced manufacturing techniques that we embrace to provide comprehensive and agile manufacturing solutions for the aerospace, mining, medical and defence sectors.

Hand of a man holding a tablet checking the machines

Industry 4.0 Manufacturing

Also known as the Fourth Industrial Revolution or The Internet of Things (IoT), Industry 4.0 fuses traditional manufacturing with digitalisation. It commonly takes the shape of industrial robotics, 3D printing, or system integration – the integration of data-collecting software into traditional machinery – to gain valuable data analytics. The information helps companies improve efficiency, quality and performance.

At Romar, we have integrated PLCs (programmable logic controllers) as well as a suite of micro-controllers with our molding machinery.

Custom senses gather process information, and we use the PLCs to store and analyse data such as CFD (computational fluid dynamics or mold flow analysis). By analysing the flow of material in the tool itself, it helps us create optimised injection molding tools.

System integration is possibility the least known but one of the most widely utilised Industry 4.0 advanced manufacturing techniques. At Romar, our molding system integration is the first stage of a wider strategy. We will next introduce it into our 3-axis and 5-axis CNC machines.

Lasertec 3D machine with equipment outside and metal finished

Additive Manufacturing

Additive manufacturing, or 3D printing, allows us to create custom and complex components to precise tolerances using high-tech materials. There is a high degree of variance in 3D capability and our elite DMG Mori Lasertec 65 3D 5-axis synchronous laser deposition, welding and milling machine has enhanced and unique features. It’s one of only three in commercial settings globally, and the only one of its type in the southern hemisphere.

Standard 3D printing adds layers of metal to build components. The Lasertec 65 is a hybrid printer, meaning it can add and subtract layers for optimum design flexibility. We can manufacture new components and repair or renew existing parts. Additionally, parts can be additively manufactured, finish machined and critical dimensions verified in a single set-up – which significantly simplifies the supply chain.

Additional features of our Lasertec 65 include capacity for higher deposition rates than a powder bed based system, the ability to produce complex 3D geometries up to 600mm diameter, and the capability to create metal blends or add metal to existing metal parts.

3D drawing of an equipment and laptops

Sustainable Manufacturing

Sustainable manufacturing aims to minimise environmental impact by reducing energy consumption and using eco-friendly materials. Advanced manufacturing techniques like 3D printing, robotics and system integration may also be more sustainable.

Our Lasertec 65, for instance, needs no upfront tooling, reducing the part count for a streamlined and more sustainable supply chain. It also delivers a lower buy-to-fly ratio, resulting in a more sustainable approach to material procurement.

At Romar, we use innovative technology across all of our manufacturing techniques including elastomers, medical device manufacturing, silicone and precision molding.

One method we employ is finite element analysis (FEA) – a complex mathematical model that allows us to determine stress concentrations, deflections and other issues prior to manufacture. We assess CAD drawings via specialised software to look for potential weaknesses, assess material functionality and optimise the design for manufacture. FEA allows us to minimise material usage for a more sustainable solution.

Two men wearing uniform inside a manufacturing office

Expertise and Agility

Advanced manufacturing techniques are not just about technology. Innovation requires an expert team with the capability and agility to deliver diverse and flexible manufacturing solutions for clients in diverse industries.

At Romar, our team of engineers and materials specialists are leaders in their fields. Their broad expertise includes additive manufacturing, medical device manufacturing, micromolding, silicone and elastomers – and every stage of manufacture from initial analysis to materials selection, design for manufacture, commercial manufacture and logistics.

Please contact us if you have a project in need of expert and agile advanced manufacturing solutions.