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New Balance Athletics, Inc., also known as New Balance, increases throughput and prototype iteration using a combination of the Russell Compact Sieve® and innovative ultrasonic technology.
New Balance, established in 1906, is one of the largest shoe manufacturers in the world. One of the latest innovations of New Balance is the inclusion of an additive manufacturing laboratory; along with the manufacture of the first laser printed shoe of the world. The world’s first running shoe with a 3D printed midsole is the Zante Generate. A laser sintering process is used to make this innovative shoe composed of Duraform® TPU elastomer. In the laser sintering process, the additive manufacturing powder is converted into solid cross sections using a laser.
New Balance’s laboratory started processing small batch work at the initial stage. However, when New Balance wanted to transform the laboratory into a larger scale of commercialization, it approached Russell Finex, a major player in fine mesh separation technology, to obtain a more efficient solution in order to achieve improved flowability and increased throughput of powder.
New Balance bought a Russell Compact Sieve® and Vibrasonic® Deblinding System after consultations and a product trial at Russell Finex’s specialized test facility. With this combination, the athletic giant is not only able to increase throughput but also ensure the purity of the processed 3D printing powder. The Russell Compact Sieve® is a versatile, high-capacity industrial screener with half the height of a traditional sieve. The innovative sieve is equipped with a solid rubber suspension, thus allowing for a quieter performance as low as 70 dBA. The system is designed to reduce the cleaning time and can thus be easily stripped down without the need for tools, enabling operators to easily access mesh screens.
Difficult and fragile powders can be quickly processed using the patent Vibrasonic® Deblinding System developed by Russell Finex, which invented the ultrasonic sieve deblinding technology. Furthermore, the system ensures continuous running of the equipment at its optimum performance, maximizes the service life of mesh screens, reduces the loss of good product and upholds the throughput rates.
To put in numerical terms, to sieve 20 kg of material using the OEM provided equipment would take approximately eight hours. With the [Russell Finex] sieve plus Vibrasonic, I can do the same amount in roughly ten minutes.
Dr. Daniel Dempsey, Additive Manufacturing Engineer, New Balance
This information has been sourced, reviewed and adapted from materials provided by Russell Finex Ltd.
For more information on this source, please visit Russell Finex Ltd.