Accelerating your future
NTS is a system supplier of (opto) mechatronic systems and mechanical modules. NTS has over seventy years of experience in the manufacturing industry. The company develops, produces, assembles and tests complex (opto) mechatronic systems and mechanical modules for large, high-tech machine manufacturers (OEMs). As a first-tier systems supplier, NTS focuses on companies that are active in markets with high levels of product diversity, low volumes and high complexity, such as the semiconductor, life sciences and digital printing markets. Markets in which precision and maneuverability are essential. NTS advises and assists its customers in the realisation of their objectives throughout the machine’s entire lifecycle.
The essence of the Additive Manufacturing of metal lies in a well-considered design
One of the technologies NTS is working on is Additive Manufacturing, specifically of metal components. Additive Manufacturing, or in other words 3D printing, is a relatively new and extremely flexible manufacturing technology that is very suited to produce small series of complex components. Over the past few years NTS has built up a lot of experience in the field of this technology and discovered that metal printing is especially suited for the optimisation and integration of functionalities as complexity of shape is almost free of costs when applying AM. In this a well-considered design and thorough insight in the manufacturing process are essential.
Excellent supplementary manufacturing technology
AM for NTS has turned out be a very good, supplementary and utterly flexible manufacturing technology that is particularly suited to produce complex geometries in series. Printing of metal has proven to be particularly suited for the optimisation and integration of functionalities as shape complexity is almost free of costs when using AM. For example, AM can be used to improve the strength and stiffness of an object while reducing its weight at the same time. The essence of AM lies in the design of the object, something which requires profound insight in the entire production process. The next couple of years NTS will proceed discovering and working on AM in order to further integrate metal printing in engineering and the supply chain.
Lots of room for experimenting and taking initiative
Jeroen Jonkers is a technical specialist at NTS. The last five years he has been working on discovering the possibilities of Additive Manufacturing for NTS. Jeroen was not put on earth for routine work and repetition. What he does best is improving existing processes and approaches. Starting at NTS for him turned out to be an excellent move.
Great diversity of engineering projects and multi-disciplinary teams
“At NTS it is very easy to speak with people from all parts of the organisation,” Jeroen says. “What is also great is that within the company you have direct contact with the manufacturing industry. Developing, designing, manufacturing and assembly at NTS can be found within one company. That is why you find a great diversity in engineering projects with a high quality that are approached in a multi-disciplinary manner. Moreover, there are lots of opportunities to take initiatives. NTS invests in the future and you can play a part in this.”
Pioneering makes me enthusiastic
“I got a lot of room to pioneer and experiment. Of course, I needed to show results for it but that is what I did. In the AddLab I have had the opportunity to profoundly explore 3D metal printing and build the desired competencies for NTS. This way of pioneering makes me enthusiastic. I have also spent a lot of my spare time on AM, on the exploration of the software for example, that is something I do because I am interested and it gives me a lot of pleasure.”
The future lies in customised, on demand products and components
Additive Manufacturing (AM) is the manufacturing of three-dimensional objects from a digital model by laying down successive layers of materials in an additive process. It is expected to disrupt entire manufacturing chains and processes. The advantages of AM lie in freedom of design, cost-efficiency, on-demand manufacturing, small-scale and flexible production and personalised/ customised components and products.
Moving towards a printed world
The formability of 3D printing means there are fewer design constraints. This makes it easier to produce small series. It also brings along new possibilities to combine new materials and combinations of materials. Moreover, production can take place closer to the end-consumers or OEM. This will eventually lead to efficiency in logistics. In short: from the world of printing we are gradually moving towards a printed world. Additive manufacturing is a game-changing technology in all fields that will have an enormous impact on future industry.
Frontrunner by joining forces with friendly competitors
Today NTS is a frontrunner in the field of metal Additive Manufacturing. Being situated in the Brainport Eindhoven region helped the company obtain this position. When NTS started experimenting in the relatively unknown area of 3D metal printing, the company was not on its own. NTS joined forces with eight partner companies in the Brainport Eindhoven region in the so-called AddLab.
Collaboration of industrial partners needed for building a prominent global position
In the AddLab NTS has had the opportunity to discover the possibilities metal printing offers and develop the desired competencies for NTS. Over the past few years the AddLab functioned as a 3D printing pilot factory. The facility was based on the ambition to develop a broad range of High Tech and high-end manufacturing applications for 3D metal printing. This joint facility was financed by nine industrial partners among which was NTS. The companies that participated in the pilot were convinced of the fact that they had a better chance of playing a globally leading role in the field of industrial 3D printing by joining forces. A team of AM professionals managed the AddLab and supported the participating companies in the development and production of 3D printed metals and parts for end-users. NTS together with two partners, will proceed with developing the industrialisation of 3D metal printing in the AddFab.