"The Belgian start-up Guaranteed has commissioned the first of two production lines on the ArcelorMittal site in Ghent. On these lines metal parts from heavy industry, offshore and shipping are repaired or produced with WAAM technology. Guaranteed's software automatically programs the robot and the welding systems, while a second software package can simulate the end result in advance."
Guaranteed was established in the summer of last year. Initiators Joachim Antonissen and COO Sander Plasschaert have the necessary experience in the field of additive manufacturing. Sander is an International welding engineer (IWE); Joachim co-developed the software at the OCAS research center, which now gives Guaranteed a unique position in the market. The software automatically generates the robot jobs and the best deposition strategy; a second software system simulates the welding process and provides certainty at the micro level in advance. For example, Guaranteed can give additional guarantees with regard to the dynamic properties and quality of the repaired parts. This software ensures first time right production and certainty regarding the performance in advance.
Up to 20 tons of heavy parts
The cell as Guaranteed has built on the ArcelorMittal site in Ghent, can process workpieces up to ten by six by five meters, with a maximum weight of 20 tons. Currently there are parameters in the database for 24 materials (steel, stainless, Inconel, Titanium, aluminum, bronze, ...). This database can be expanded at the request of customers. Although components can be 3D-printed completely from scratch with this technology, Guaranteed focuses primarily on the repair market. Millions of savings are possible there, says Joachim Antonissen.
Millions of savings
A modern mining site can easily stock tens of millions of euros in parts. "If we manage to get 10% off that, you're already talking about hefty amounts," he says. The same goes for the shipbuilding, dredging and oil and gas industries, some other sectors Guaranteed focuses on. “In the oil and gas industry, millions of euros are in stock, because the delivery of a typical forging takes six to twelve months. If the piece fails and you do not have it in stock, you have to stop test drillings, for example. ” The (logistical) cost savings in these sectors are currently important arguments for the young company. With its dual proposition, Guaranteed thinks it can convince buyers of potential customers by offering them the opportunity to either directly save costs by repairing parts or to realize logistical cost savings by producing complete replacement parts on demand and quickly. Guaranteed is also actively involved in several Joint Industry Projects to also enable repairin sectors where certification is important.
Guaranteed was effectively established in July 2019, with ArcelorMittal, OCAS and the Flemish investment fund Finindus as shareholders. The technology is very interesting for the steel group. On the one hand, because this allows the steel producer to significantly improve the operational return in the steel sites. On the other hand, because ArcelorMittal invests in technology with a more sustainable character. Joachim Antonissen: "For a steel company in one of the most densely populated areas of Western Europe, you should not underestimate the significance." The sustainability character, because Guaranteed significantly reduces material consumption with repair, has already provided the startup with funding from the booster fund of the European Institute for Technology. The EIT invests in companies that realize sustainability and bring work back to Europe.