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Renowned as one of the world’s leading tire manufacturers, Automotive technologies leader Continental AG actually has an even wider solutions portfolio, including automotive part production, connectivity, automated driving and mobility services via its Continental Engineering Services (CES) division. With a unique business model that combines the entire process chain from design to production, testing and validation, Continental provides custom solutions for its large customer portfolio.

Part of the company’s global brand is the Product Solutions Segment within Continental Engineering Services (CES), a stand-alone company. CES is responsible for manufacturing components, prototypes and small series parts for external customers, as well as internal solutions for the Continental production line and machinery. Continental bolstered its service offering and manufacturing capabilities with the construction of an Additive Design and Manufacturing (ADaM) Competence Center. This state-of-the-art facility houses some of the world’s most advanced industrial-level additive manufacturing technologies.

“We have been working with additive manufacturing since 1996 alongside traditional productions methods,” explains Stefan Kammann, Head of Samples and Mechanical Solutions, Continental Engineering Services. “Our ADaM Competence Center allows us to integrate this technology into our operations on a much larger scale, from design through to post-production.”
“The Fortus 450mc stands out in our portfolio as it enables us to access highly specialized materials, such as ULTEM™ 9085 resin and ABS-ESD7, that allow us to meet the requirements of demanding production applications on the factory floor.”
Stefan Kammann, head of samples and mechanical Solutions, Continental Engineering Services
This X-ray guide is used to ensure automotive sensors are kept in place during production and to guarantee product repeatability. It is printed with ULTEM™ 9085 resin.
This X-ray guide is used to ensure automotive sensors are kept in place during production and to guarantee product repeatability. It is printed with ULTEM™ 9085 resin.

A material world.

Spearheading the capabilities of Continental’s ADaM Center is an industrial-grade Stratasys Fortus 450mc™ FDM® 3D printer, used to manufacture production parts, prototypes and – most notably – jigs and fixtures for the company’s own production line machinery.

“We carefully select additive manufacturing technologies in our Competence Center according to their high-performance capabilities so that we can undertake the widest range of applications possible,” Kammann explains. “The Fortus 450mc stands out in our portfolio as it enables us to access highly specialized materials, such as ULTEM™ 9085 resin and ABS-ESD7™, that allow us to meet the requirements of demanding production applications on the factory floor. In fact, the Fortus 450mc is the only 3D printer we have that is capable of creating ESD-compliant production parts in very little time.”

According to Kammann, the Fortus 450mc can produce parts in just a few hours – which means the team can set print jobs to run overnight and have finished parts in their hands the very next morning. This affords the team much more production agility, especially when it comes to replacement parts.

“With the Fortus 450mc, we’re able to quickly manufacture replacement production tools and parts in high-performance thermoplastics that perform in the same way we would expect of a traditionally manufactured equivalent,” says Kammann. “This avoids lengthy manufacturing times associated with traditionally produced tools, and bypasses costly machine downtime associated with the wait for replacement parts. Instead, we are able to ensure continuous production and little to no machinery downtime.”
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