LCV 2015 – A HiETA Review
HiETA’s debut at LCV 2015 last month proved to be a timely foray into the Low Carbon Vehicle movement; introducing Additive Manufacturing (AM) into the pioneering technology mix.
Organised by Cenex and supported by Innovate UK this lively forum is a unique annual showcase of the technology and innovation driving the development of low emission vehicles. It brought together leading players in the field of low carbon vehicle design, using the platform to unveil new concept vehicles from the likes of JLR, among others, and announcements on current and future multi-million-pound funding awards by Innovate UK.
For the Additive Manufacturing sector, Innovate UK’s and the Office for Low Emission Vehicles’ (OLEV) intention to invest up to £20 million in technical feasibility studies and collaborative research & development (CR&D) projects is hugely encouraging for driving uptake of Additive Manufacturing in the automotive industry, which will play a key role in delivering significant emissions on British highways.
As the primary representative of the Additive Manufacturing process at LCV2015, HiETA’s stand attracted much attention, interest and surprise on how far the technology has evolved to deliver light weighting, high performance and cost reduction in waste heat recovery component design to a commercial standard.
Our thanks go to Innovate UK for its confident backing of Additive Manufacturing technology and visionary approach to funding a low carbon transport future!
HiETA’s automotive team was able to illustrate how Selective Laser Melting within the AM process ‘grows’ components from layers of very fine powders. The high levels of three-dimensional design freedom provided by the approach allow us to deploy complex geometries, for weight reduction, thermal performance, and increased functionalities, and to integrate multiple components into single designs.
Driving AM Industrialisation
HiETA is actively driving the industrialisation of the Additive Manufacturing process to meet the volume and quality standards expected by the automotive industry – previously this has been a barrier to entry. It is now being achieved through the application of an integrated value chain approach where all contributing elements are optimised to maximise productivity; for example, iterated developments in data handling, AM machine software, component design, and AM hardware.
Since HiETA’s R&D, prototyping and industry collaborations got fully underway in 2012, component costs have reduced by an order of magnitude and the company is confident that it can reduce costs by another order of magnitude in the near future.
HiETA AM-produced Compact Heat Exchanger.
An invitation to the future
HiETA is opening its new Technology Centre at Bristol & Bath Science Park early in November. A series of exclusive tours, where guests will witness AM ‘printing’ in action, are now available for booking. Interested parties within the automotive, motorsport, aerospace and defence industries, should visit the HiETA website to register interest.