Introducing 3D printing to Deliver Supply Chain Advantages – Wedge Wire
Croft Filters Ltd, based in Warrington England, have been supplying custom filtration and separation solutions for over 32 years. Over this time Croft has developed a reputation for their quality, bespoke service through manufacturing a variety of products for specific requirements. These products have included: Filtration solutions, Baskets and Screens manufactured from Wedge Wire.
Wedge wire is traditionally formed from parallel, wedge profile bars with perpendicular support bars and can be used in screens, baskets and cylinders. Wedge wire filters remove particulates from fluids to prevent contamination or damage to downstream industrial processes. Wedge wire filter media are considered to be highly dependable filtration media that deliver precision filtering, strength and can withstand high operational pressures. They are also not susceptible to clogging and so are easy to maintain. As a result they are widely employed across a range of industries including water management, hydroelectric, food & beverage and manufacturing.
Croft understand how important a short lead time within a supply chain is, with the Wedge Wire media having a lead time of 6-8 weeks Croft has experienced first hand how frustrating it is to wait for the media. This has lead to the development of Croft’s own Wedge Wire manufactured through Additive Manufacturing AM (metal 3D printing).
Additive Manufacture (AM) technology, where components are built layer by layer is well known for prototyping, multi-part to single parts and increasing part functionality to add value, however AM can also deliver value through decreased lead time and decreased tooling costs. Manufacture of wedge wire by AM would deliver added value by reducing tooling costs and decrease in lead time. Layer by layer manufacture also allows for design freedom that allows designs to be created that cannot be manufactured by other conventional processes. Croft have utilised metal powder bed fusion AM to deliver novel innovative wedge wire designs which deliver the required filtration level, within a short lead time without tooling.
AM design freedoms allowed Croft to create Wedge Wire media in conical and rounded conical shapes to aid self cleaning of the filter in the river bed. These wedge wire designs were designed for metal AM, to suit the customer’s functional requirements and were built without tooling and were deliverable in one week. Metal AM is a powerful tool in the supply chain and provides innovation opportunities across many components.
Quality of both product and service has been the key to Croft’s success; the Company takes great pride in understanding their customer’s needs, quickly supplying them with a high quality product that exceeds Customer’s expectations.
For more information about Croft’s custom AM Wedge Wire visit: www.filters.co.uk