Bentley to Expand Additive Manufacturing Facility.
Bentley Motors has a state-of-the-art Additive Manufacturing facility applied to a wide range of uses. The facility produced more than 15,000 components in 2021 alone. Bentley will expand the facility to utilise the advanced technology to create 3D printed vehicle components and even greater personalisation in customer cars.
The AM systems convert 3D CAD models into physical components and is recognised as one of the fastest developing technologies in the world. Bentley’s innovative research and development team has already identified many items to print, including on-the-job assisted tools for manufacturing colleagues, such as lightweight sanding blocks in Bentley’s iconic woodshop. Additionally, historically accurate tooling equipment needed to make parts for the Bentley Blower Continuation model was created, and even face shields were provided to the healthcare sector due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
AM has been employed to create physical components for several prototype Bentleys, including full-scale powertrain models and aerodynamic wind tunnel models. The advanced techniques have also been used to produce parts for the record-breaking Bentley models that were driven in the demanding Pikes Peak Challenge in America.
The latest methods help speed up product development, allowing Bentley to produce a profusion of parts without outsourcing. It is part of the company’s ground-breaking Beyond100 strategy, targeting sustainable mobility leadership by reinventing every aspect of the business.
The state-of-the-art AM equipment installed enables a 50 % cost saving on parts. The facility can produce thousands of components in over 25 different material options by operating around the clock. Staff at Bentley from across the company are now being offered training in AM to understand how they can benefit from using the state-of-the-art process in their work.
Peter Bosch, Bentley’s Member of the Board for Manufacturing, added:
“Bentley’s approach to additive manufacturing is industry-leading and the facility is quickly becoming a cornerstone of our ‘Dream Factory’ ambitions. One of the key benefits is that it is efficiency led, cutting down on the cost and complexity of a myriad of jobs.
“This latest investment is also making a significant impact with our colleagues from across the company, helping to create advanced assisted tools to drive continuous improvement throughout manufacturing processes. As we look to the future, there really is huge potential to where this advanced technology can progress, including having a greater ability to personalise parts for our customers and further enhancing the individualisation programme offered on every car.”