When a newer industry like 3D printing takes off, there is business to be made not just in manufacturing and sales, but in all of the auxiliary fields associated with that industry, including some fields that may not even immediately come to mind. With offices in 48 different countries, UL LLC has over a hundred years of safety consulting and certification and has been training people around new technologies with every new advance, including the public adoption of electricity. That being said, UL has the experience to know when a new technology is going mainstream and will be there to ensure that their safety standards, certification, and training can integrate it into the larger supply chain.
In the past year, UL has applied its time-tested approach to 3D printing, establishing standards associated with AM and launching educational facilities to train users around this powerful technology. Today, they’ve officially opened their first such center in the US, the UL Additive Manufacturing Competency Center (UL AMCC), based out of the University of Louisville. There, technical and business professionals will be able to engage in end-to-end training to greater their understanding of 3D printing. And, with the opening of the UL AMCC, the global safety science organization has made an important partner to further workforce education around 3D printing.
Coinciding with the opening ceremony, UL has announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with EOS, manufacturers of SLS and DMLS machines. Together, the two companies will provide AM training, conformity advisory services, and facility safety management to customers of EOS machines. Glynn Fletcher, President of EOS of North America, Inc., says of the MOU, “As the world-leading industrial 3D-printing solution provider, EOS forms strategic partnerships to strengthen our core competencies of systems, process and materials. Our partnership with UL allows us to join with our customers – both current and future – to push advancements in innovation, safety and quality.”
At the UL AMCC, attendees have access to hands-on training in metal 3D printing, as well as curricula related to design set up and corrections, machine set up, part production, post-processing, parts inspection, testing and validation. In addition to actually working the machines, the program will aid workplaces in establishing safety systems, identifying hazards, and build safe parts. Simin Zhou, vice president of UL’s Digital Manufacturing Technologies division, comments, “Our vision has always been to collaborate with the additive manufacturing industry to further innovation, safety and quality. The UL AMCC is a direct outcome of that collaboration. The University of Louisville, AM machine manufacturers and other industry leaders demonstrated incredible commitment in the creation of this facility.”
With the progress of 3D printing, the UL AMCC will also evolve its own course curriculum every six to twelve months. And, with professional certification for those who complete required competencies in the program, local students will be able to enhance their resume to apply for advanced manufacturing jobs. And the program will clearly benefit businesses looking to implement metal additive manufacturing in their work flow, but do not necessarily have the experience in-house.