Concrete block mold manufacturer uses the Russell AMPro® Sieve Station for cleaner 3D printing
Kobra Group has produced high-grade steel molds for the concrete block industry since 1991. Based in Lengenfeld, Germany, Kobra Group is an engineering partner and supplier to concrete block manufacturers worldwide. With 86 patents in 140 countries, its best-practice molds excel in innovative technology, dimensionally accurate milling, and first-grade quality.
Since 2020, Kobra Group has invested in additive manufacturing to stay up to date with the latest technology and explore how to improve its production processes. During research and development, Kobra Group identified that additive manufacturing has the potential to reduce the number of process steps by over 70%.
With its first 3D printer, the concrete block mold manufacturer relied on a manual process to recover powder once the build process was complete. Operators vacuumed surplus powder from the build chamber and transferred it to a sieving station to ensure the correct size of particles before returning the powder to the 3D printer.
However, this manual approach to powder recovery led to significant contamination of the surrounding area. Close contact with used product created safety issues for the operators due to the hazardous nature of the metal powder.
In addition, the sieving station often became clogged with powder, leading to inconsistent feeding into the sieve and mesh blockages. As a result, the sieving process took longer and was less efficient as powder had to be re-sieved multiple times to prevent the scrapping of good powder. Operators also had to dismantle the sieve frequently to unblack the sieve mesh screen, which took up their time and increased their exposure to the powder.
In 2023, Kobra Group acquired a second 3D printer, AMS 400 from Reichenbaher Hamuel GmbH, integrated with the Russell AMPro® Sieve Station and a Solukon depowdering station to establish a fully automated closed-loop powder recovery process.
The Russell AMPro® Sieve Station has automated the entire powder recovery process, allowing Kobra Group to streamline its additive manufacturing process with fewer production stoppages and less powder contamination.
The Russell AMPro® Sieve Station can be integrated with different 3D printers to fit each customer's specific powder handling requirements. It has a simple one-button operation and is fully programmable for complete process integration.
About Russell Finex
Founded in 1934, Russell Finex is a specialist global supplier of sieving and filtration equipment. With its head office in the U.K. and subsidiaries in Belgium, the U.S.A., India, and China the company supplies to over 140 countries.
To speak to an experienced sales engineer to improve your productivity, contact Russell Finex today.