Germany’s SMS group won the German Design Award in the “Industry” category for an additively manufactured spray head used to cool dies in the forging industry. The award recognizes innovative products and projects and the companies or individuals who have fabricated and designed them. In this case, it was not only the spray-head component that was noteworthy, but also that additive-manufacturing (AM) techniques were used to produce the part.

The new spray-head solution produced by 3D printing is the result of a joint effort by the company’s Forging Plants department, Additive Manufacturing project team and simulation technology experts. The spray head is significantly smaller, features flow-optimized channels and cools the dies specifically and as required in each individual case. Die areas subjected to intensive heating are cooled at a correspondingly higher rate than areas less hot. In addition, these spray heads can be produced virtually just in time.

One of the first customers using the new spray head in practice is Bharat Forge in Ennepetal, Germany. For Bharat Forge, the spray head was specifically designed to allow switching between water and a graphite-based spraying fluid.

SMS group’s Axel Rossbach, R&D extrusion and forging presses, said, “Winning the Design Award makes us extremely proud. It is recognition of many teams within SMS group whose work is characterized by a highly interdisciplinary approach. The spray head is a milestone innovation marking a new era in the design of plant and machine components, enabled by the game-changing potential of 3D printing and function-optimized design.”