Interspectral is a spin-off from the world-leading visualization research that has Norrköping and Linköping as its base. From prototyping through manufacturing to final inspection, the company ensures that 3D-printed metal components meet specifications. By compiling large amounts of manufacturing data, Interspectral creates digital twins that can be used to accelerate product development and ensure quality. For example, if the digital twin shows that the metal is porous in certain parts, the same defect is found inside the component of what you are manufacturing.
“3D prints can alert you that something isn’t right, but operators often don’t know why,” says CEO Isabelle Hachette. With our technology, they can “see” what’s going on and can fix the errors in time. This results in major savings, both in manufacturing and for the environment as a whole.
Interspectral is something of a textbook example of commercialization of high-tech research. Through Interspectral, the research at the visualization center in Norrköping has been taken to an international market. The company has customers in Germany, France, the United States, Japan and the Nordic countries. Up to 80% of the company’s production is exported.
“We are one of the few companies in the world that offers a solution that works regardless of the make of the 3D printer,” says Isabelle. Additive manufacturing is experiencing strong growth and we are experiencing great interest from the aerospace, defense, medical and automotive industries, among others.
In November, Interspectral participated at Formnext in Frankfurt – the world’s largest trade fair for additive manufacturing. The market is expanding rapidly. The company came home with 243 inquiries from various industries.
“In the past, there has been a great deal of focus on developing the hardware itself, the 3D printer. Now the market realizes that software is needed to ensure the quality of the manufacturing process. In other words, our product is just right in time and is groundbreaking in many ways,” says Isabelle.
With the help of digital technology, Interspectral can “see” things that cannot be controlled with the human eye or conventional test methods. It is also not appropriate to make visual inspections in the environment where components are 3D printed using metal powders and lasers. Interspectral captures huge amounts of data from the 3D printers’ sensors that measure humidity, temperature, laser intensity and a wide range of other parameters. Based on the values, Interspectral creates visualizations in 3D. Deviating values from the sensors mean undesirable deviations in both the physical product and the twin model.
“Manufacturing a metal component using 3D printing can take up to four weeks and sometimes more than a hundred products are manufactured at the same time. With our technology, we ensure quality on an ongoing basis, which results in enormous savings. In mass production, not all components may be defective if a problem occurs. Our visualizations show which products need to be discarded and which are okay. The alternative may be to discard everything you have produced so far.
A couple of weeks ago, Interspectral joined Swedish Scaleups. Isabelle says it was an easy decision.
“We are facing a very rapid growth journey. We are constantly developing our technology, our customer relationships and have also taken the first steps to broaden our reach towards 3D printing of plastic components. Through Swedish Scaleups, we get support in our scale-up process and help to find financing for our growth journey.
Today, the company has a turnover of SEK 9 million. The forecast is very good and Isabelle expects that the company will double its turnover every year over the next 5 years. End users of products are subcontractors, but growth is mainly achieved through collaboration with 3D printing suppliers who take Interspectral’s technology to the end customers.
“By growing together with all our partners and also entering new areas, we achieve a fan effect for our growth. At the same time, it is important to set the right priorities. Here, I am convinced that the dialogue with the consultants within Swedish Scaleups will be very valuable, says Isabelle.