Johnson Screens and HP use innovation and cutting-edge technology to innovate and optimize screen manufacturing.
Brisbane, November 12, 2022 – Relentless innovation to serve the status quo. It’s a sentence that, at face value, seems to contradict itself, but it’s one that Johnson Screens has lived by for nearly 120 years. Our core Vee-Wire® product, while revolutionary at the time of its invention, has remained relatively unchanged since its introduction. Yet through sheer inventiveness, we have found an ever-growing list of successful applications for our screens. But what if we were to take this innovation a step further? What if we were to rethink how our core product is made?
These are exactly the questions that Denys Visser and his team are exploring with their recent experiments with additive technology and 3D printing techniques. The goal with our products, as with many manufacturing firms, is to create the most utility while using the least material possible. Given that, by definition, additive fabrication uses the smallest necessary amount of material to complete a given design, this process’s synergy in combination with our screens is truly extraordinary.
“For a long time, we’d been very interested in additive,” says Denys, Global Research and Product Manager for Johnson Screens’ Australia division. “However, additive never really left the hobby zone for us. The reason why I say that is, while the technology was able, the process around it was not… The other part of that was material. When you’re working with liquids or water, you can’t have a material that absorbs. The easiest material that many people use is something like nylon that is actually strong… (However), you go towards nylon, which absorbs water; we can’t use it.”
In search of a strong, non-absorbent fabrication material, Denys and his team settled on polypropylene, a cost-effective yet resilient material favoured by many 3D printers. An initial test was conducted using additive-derived components purchased from Weerg in place of the traditional stainless steel screens. After nine months, Denys found that the new components outperformed the original ones. Seeking to capitalize on the success of this new fabrication process, Johnson Screens began looking for a 3D printing partner that could keep up with the unique demands of the wastewater treatment industries we serve.
“Wastewater treatment plants are not allowed to stop. Ever. You cannot have breaks in service when it comes to wastewater; they have to run because the alternative is too bad for cities to handle,” says Denys. To properly service wastewater treatment equipment, parts must be fabricated quickly and continually. This meant our 3D printing partner needed to have not only to proper technology in place to fabricate our parts using polypropylene but the systems in place to meet this demand as well. Enter HP 3D Printing.
With over 76 years of technological innovation under their belt, HP mirrors the inventive spirit on which we pride ourselves at Johnson Screens. In a short time, our organization has been able to leverage HP 3D Printing products; our efforts have been met with surprise and praise.
“I always enjoy showing these parts to our suppliers or client-side engineers and asking them to figure out how they were made because as soon as you know a little bit about plastics, you look at the parts and say, ‘it’s impossible to injection mould, there are too many parallel walls.’ Some of them can guess right away, and they look at me and go, ‘is this additive?’”
The additive-derived components we’ve collaborated on have suffered zero recorded failures in testing and limited commercial use. Some of Johnson Screen’s customers have even begun to specifically request that they receive the new parts instead of the usual stainless steel screens. Johnson Screens is proud to partner with fellow technological pioneer HP 3D Printing, and we look forward to continued success for both of our organizations in the coming days.
About Johnson Screens
Johnson Screens is the leading global provider of screening and auxiliary solutions. We support a wide range of industries, such as water wells, environmental, energy, chemicals, food and
beverage, and mining, with our highly engineered and precisely fabricated products.
About HP Inc.
HP Inc. (NYSE: HPQ) is a technology company that believes one thoughtful idea has the power to change the world. Its product and service portfolio of personal systems, printers, and 3D printing solutions helps bring these ideas to life. Visit http://www.hp.com.
Renato Barbedo – Global Marketing Manager
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