Cummins says it has hit a milestone in its additive manufacturing and industry 4.0 ambitions this week as it gets ready to approve its first production part 3D printed with GE Additive’s metal binder jet technology.

The company, which specialises in power technology, has shared it is now moving a Cummins Emission Solutions (CES) lance tip adapter used in high horsepower engines, through its production part approval process (PPAP) where it hopes to gain formal approval and start official production later this year.

“This is incredibly exciting, as it signifies yet another significant milestone in our 3D and additive manufacturing roadmap,” said Tim Millwood, Vice President of Global Manufacturing. “We’re on the cusp of being able to leverage a broad range of additive technologies to print the parts we need, using the right technology and at lower costs and increased speeds.”

The part is a critical emissions component in Cummins engines, used to atomise and inject diesel exhaust fluid into the engine exhaust stream to reduce the amount of nitrogen oxides (NOx) emitted from Cummins’ engine systems. By manufacturing with 3D printing, the part now features a more lightweight design, improved geometry for fluid and air flow, and eliminates the need for cross drillings.

Jacob Brunsberg, Binder Jet product line leader, GE Additive, added: “This is the first of many milestones. The focus of our partnership is to productionize applications at cost, quality and needed scale. We are proud to work with Cummins to develop additive technology and provide meaningful return on investment throughout its supply chains.”

Cummins was named as an early investor and adopter of GE Additive’s binder jet technology, shortly followed by Wabtec and later Sandvik, and installed two second generation H2 machines back in 2019. The company has long been a user of metal and polymer AM technologies, housing several machines across multiple sites including three GE Additive Concept Laser M2 DMLM systems. Last year, Cummins established an Additive Manufacturing Lab within its Manufacturing Engineering Development Center (MEDC) in Columbus, Indiana, in a bid to develop and validate binder jet AM. The company is currently actively working with GE Additive to develop a third generation binder jet system which will deliver improved throughout, quality and costs. To date, Cummins has approved 20 part numbers and shipped nearly 350 AM parts.

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