Although the use of electrical cables is necessary in many systems, it has several disadvantages. Electrical cables are vulnerable to physical and chemical aggressions and often difficult to integrate during the design phase of miniaturisation and digitalisation. The multi-material manufacturing technologies, aiming at developing parts with embedded functions that involve electrical energy, cannot compete with the mechanical and electrical performances of metals.
Innovation: EARTO member CSEM developed the REEF technology (Really Embedded Electric Functions), based on a patented design and additive manufacturing concept which merges mechanical and electrical functions into a single metallic part. The built-in electrical conductors produced can take various shapes and trajectories and bring energy to strategic locations of the part. This energy can be used to supply various type of sensors coupled to wireless transmitters for IoT applications.
Impact Delivered: CSEM’s innovation has been applied to the “SRA rotor” application in partnership with RUAG Sliprings SA, where REEF enables production cost saving up to 40%, overall lead time reduction from 6 to 3 months, development costs’ reduction by 25% and material savings of up to 50%. In smart factories, the manufacturing flow time could be reduced by up to 3.7 times. REEF could find applications in Additive Manufacturing for space, aerospace, and electric motors with an estimated market penetration of 11B USD in the next 5-10 years.