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Industry 4.0 and the Powder Metallurgy industry: Challenges and opportunities ahead

Computers and the internet affect all sectors of our lives and have led to profound changes in industrial production. Through growing digitalisation and the integration of ever more advanced artificial intelligence, the ability for systems to respond to external circumstances without human intervention is just one aspect of what has come to be known as the fourth industrial revolution, or ‘Industry 4.0’.

Just how and to what degree this could affect the Powder Metallurgy industry has been the subject of several recent presentations at technical conferences. In this article, Dr Georg Schlieper offers a look at the challenges that Industry 4.0 brings to the PM industry, and highlights the opportunities that could lie ahead.

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New opportunities for master alloys: Ultra-high pressure water atomised powders

Research began on the development of master alloys (MAs) for PM steels some fifty years ago. Over the years, a number of master alloys have shown promise, but the wide adoption of these was prevented due to the need for high sintering temperatures and the excessive tool wear caused by the very hard and angular MA powder particles.

In this article, Dr Raquel de Oro Calderon of the Institute of Chemical Technologies and Analytics at TU Wien, Austria, reports on work that makes use of ultra-high pressure water atomised master alloy powders and could significantly increase the hardenability of commercial steel powders at a very low alloying cost.

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Automotive teardown:
Dismantling of three modern vehicles to identify PM parts

In order to establish a better understanding of the use of PM components in modern automobiles, a team of engineers from Höganäs AB recently stripped back three new vehicles to their component parts. As well as discovering the exact content of PM in each vehicle, the team were able to identify numerous components that could easily be converted to PM.

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Download the latest issue of PM Review

Our latest issue is now available to download in PDF format, free of charge.

As well as an extensive Powder Metallurgy industry news section, this 108-page issue includes the following exclusive articles and reports:

  • The Powder Metallurgy market in India: Potential for continued growth as auto industry advances
  • Award winning automotive applications showcase potential of PM
  • Spark Plasma Sintering: Method, systems, applications and industrialisation
  • More information

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PM Review is the leading international magazine for the Powder Metallurgy industry.
Published four times a year, it is available as a free download or through a print subscription

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Powder Metallurgy:The original net-shape production process

Powder Metallurgy components are relied upon by a wide variety of manufacturing industries, from automotive to power tools, household appliances, chemical engineering, filtration and more.

The main reason for the technology’s success is its cost-effectiveness at producing high volumes of net-shape components, combined with its ability to allow the manufacture of products that, because of the production processes, simply cannot be manufactured by other methods.

To discover more about how the technology has revolutionised component production, browse our Introduction to Powder Metallurgy.

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