Johnson Screens, an Aqseptence Group brand, is a global leader of water filtration and separation products. Johnson Screens offers a comprehensive range of solutions for the waste water management industry, backed by over 100 years of design, manufacturing, service and sales experience.

In 2019, as part of Johnson Screens drive for continuous improvement, their designers conducted a Design for Additive Manufacturing (DfAM) review of an existing filtration belt. The belt screen is used to remove solids from incoming wastewater, as one of the initial steps in the treatment facility. The part needed to be robust and reliable, and the designers saw opportunities to improve on the part efficiency and incorporate the freedom of design that AM (Additive Manufacturing) can unlock.

With their manufacturing based in Brisbane, Australia, Johnson Screens went to the market seeking a local partner to supply an industrial grade polymer AM system that could produce durable polypropylene parts within tolerance and at scale.

After completing their due diligence, they selected EVOK3D as the partner of choice and the HP Jet Fusion 5210 3D printing system as the production ready AM system.

“The HP Jet Fusion 5200 system is enabling Australian companies to manufacture world leading products in a competitive and cost-effective manner,” said Joe Carmody, Managing Director, EVOK3D.

“We are now seeing accelerated adoption of AM in the industrial segment and EVOK3D is right at the forefront of delivering end-to-end additive manufacturing solutions in this space.”

- Joe Carmody, EVOK3D Managing Director

The HP Jet Fusion 5200 system enables progression from prototype direct to production in a seamless manner. “We have seen major savings in lead time (up to 10 weeks) and, due to the design freedom provided by the additive manufacturing process, achieved a 40% reduction in assembly time,” said Denys Visser, Global Product and Research Manager for Johnson Screens. “This has led to improved cost and throughput in our Australian facility that we plan to roll out globally.”

EVOK3D goes beyond the traditional role of an equipment supplier; offering a true end to end solution; from materials selection, part validation, system supply, installation and commissioning to ongoing service and support, of hardware and software. EVOK3D is uniquely positioned to provide Australia-wide support for Johnson Screens, in the initial project implementation and over the lifetime of the asset. “It has been a pleasure working with EVOK3D, …they outperformed the several other suppliers we were engaged with” said Denys, “Their support continues into our service and raw material supply today, and I am glad to report they are not a ‘Sell and Leave’ company. I readily recommend them in all additive processes and procurement.”

The recent addition of polypropylene to the portfolio of HP materials allows for the manufacture of robust parts with high chemical resistance at a much lower cost, versus the polyamide (nylon) materials commonly used on other AM systems. “Polypropylene, a cost-effective yet resilient material, is much better suited for the purpose of filtration,” said Denys.

The HP Multi Jet Fusion system is a complete 3D printing solution. “We use the fully integrated post process unpacking solution provided by HP to process and recover the majority of powder without incurring high labour usage,” says Denys. “After this we finalise our parts with a media cleaning system and 100% inspection.” The media cleaning system is a 3DAutoBLAST, automatic bead blaster developed and manufactured in Australia by EVOK3D.

The 3D printed polypropylene screens are proving to be exceptionally durable for Johnson Screens. “After 12 months in harsh real-world service, it was found that the new components outperformed the traditional stainless-steel filters,” said Denys. Furthermore, Johnson Screens has not yet seen any failures, and the first test panel is still functioning as intended, after more than one and a half years of around the clock use.

But this is only the starting point of Johnson Screens additive manufacturing journey. The Center-Flo belt screen is one of many products that they currently produce and will produce in the future. The benefits of the HP Jet Fusion 5200 series will ensure that the use of additive manufacturing will continue to inform new and existing designs for Johnson Screens.