EOS talks responsible manufacturing at Formnext 2023

At the forefront of industrial 3D printing in metal and plastics, EOS is not just pioneering technological innovation but also championing responsible manufacturing. Björn Hannappel, Head of Sustainability at EOS, shared valuable insights during a recent interview at the world’s largest additive manufacturing (AM) event, Formnext, shedding light on how EOS integrates sustainability into its core business strategy.

Accelerating ‘Responsible Manufacturing’

During our conversation, Hannappel emphasized EOS’s commitment to ‘responsible manufacturing’ as the company’s north star. “Our company purpose is to accelerate the transition towards responsible manufacturing with industrial 3D printing. We believe that technology and innovation can help to create a better world for everyone,” he explains. EOS envisions additive manufacturing as a key player in this sustainable transition.

Proudly ISO 14001 certified, EOS has incorporated various strategies to address environmental concerns. Hannappel outlined the company’s approach, “We are anchored in our corporate strategy with our sustainability agenda. We have an ESG strategy and are developing KPIs to achieve our goals. Additionally, we publish a yearly sustainability report and are working on establishing a science-based target for the company.”

Additive Manufacturing: Sustainable by Design

Speaking to the role AM plays in driving sustainability goals, Hannappel explained: “We focus on purpose-driven design, enabling lightweight structures, complex geometries, and special applications that save energy and reduce carbon emissions.” He highlighted a vein used in gas turbines as a prime example, where AM-enabled design has resulted in significant CO2 savings through increased efficiency and innovative cooling channels.

EOS’ 3D printed eyewear, customizable to the individual’s face, has a 60% lower carbon footprint compared to traditional manufacturing explained Hannappel. This finding was corroborated by a life cycle assessment conducted with a customer — an important step in ensuring claims stand up to proper scrutiny.

Advancing Powder Efficiency

Recognizing the environmental impact of powder used in 3D printing, EOS is actively working on making their powders more efficient. By exploring alternative powder feedstocks, optimizing how powder behaves in the system to reduce waste, and implementing a powder recycling program, the company has been able to make substantial reductions to the carbon impact of their materials.

Part of the EOS responsible manufacturing journey includes its ‘Responsible Products’ line. “We introduced products like PA1101 climate neutral and PA2200 carbon reduced, aiming to reduce or offset the carbon emissions associated with their production,” Hannappel mentioned. These efforts include changing energy sources in production and using recycled materials, as evidenced by their new aluminum carbon reduced powder.

Encouraging Customer Participation

EOS recognizes its top customers using its responsible products with a unique award. “We provide them with a customer certificate detailing their carbon savings, which is externally verified. This aids our customers in reducing their own carbon footprint,” he stated.

Concluding, Hannappel reiterates, “EOS is committed to not only improving internally but also supporting our customers in their climate ambitions with responsible 3D printing solutions.” This approach underscores EOS’s dedication to driving sustainable manufacturing practices in the industry.

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