It’s no surprise anymore that the fastest-growing sector in additive manufacturing revolves around metals. 3D printed metal offers incredible opportunity and benefits from waste and cost reduction to lightweight and complex structures that simply are not possible via traditional subtractive manufacturing methods. Metal AM technology is taking over, with new 3D printers and new materials being introduced with increasing frequency around the world — and now we are seeing that global reach extend again as Switzerland-based Oerlikon announces its new advanced materials manufacturing facility to be built in Michigan.
Oerlikon is a truly global organization, with a footprint extending to 37 countries with more than 13,500 employees and more than 170 locations, seeking to become “a global powerhouse in surface solutions, advanced materials and materials processing” — and this century-old enterprise is turning its attention further toward additive technologies. With the new plant, set for construction in Plymouth Township, Michigan, Oerlikon seeks to “accelerate the industrialization of additive manufacturing,” noting that “the new facility will extend and strengthen Oerlikon’s materials capabilities in order to respond to the increasing demand for advanced and new materials for industrial applications.”
“We intend to take a leading position in the industrialization of additive manufacturing and are convinced that the facility in Plymouth Township will ignite this ambition. This investment marks an important step in our plans to grow our strong presence in North America, and is a key milestone for us to become a leading service provider for the fast-expanding additive manufacturing market,” explained Dr. Roland Fischer, CEO of the Oerlikon Group. “I would like to thank the Michigan Business Development Program for their support, and we look forward to becoming part of this community.”
Materials represent an obvious key to the realization of metal additive manufacturing technology — advanced materials are necessary to the continuation of the fast growth this sector is seeing and anticipating. Oerlikon’s new facility, expected to be operational by year-end 2017, is set to produce advanced titanium alloys and other metals. The company notes that the facility’s R&D lab will additionally explore developments of alloys of titanium, nickel, copper, iron, cobalt, and other metals, and will engage in joint R&D projects as well as customized small-batch powder production.
“Additive manufacturing has led to increased interest in the development of metals and alloys. By developing innovations that enhance our knowledge of the relationships between powder characteristics and the resulting component quality, we have been able to lead, rather than follow, the market trend towards process-specific powders,” says Dr. Dieter Sporer, AM Industry Segment Manager at Oerlikon Metco.
- Cobalt-based alloys
- Nickel-based alloys and superalloys
- Non-hardenable stainless steels
- High-strength stainless steels
The new facility, which will complement an existing Oerlikon Metco site in Troy, Michigan, will have a staff of approximately 70. With a first phase investment of $50 million, the Plymouth Township facility illustrates the confidence Oerlikon has in additive manufacturing as playing a key role in the next industrial revolution. Oerlikon Metco will be attending formnext in Frankfurt next week, and will be located at Hall 3.1 / Booth No. C65. Discuss in the Oerlikon forum at 3DPB.com.[Images: Oerlikon]
You May Also Like
Mass 3D Printing of Bike Seat Cuts Costs by £22,000
With the release of HP’s Multi Jet Fusion, the world began to see the reality of 3D printing for serial production, leading additive manufacturing (AM) stalwart Stratasys to kick up...
3D Printing Webinar and Event Roundup: December 5, 2021
We’ve got another busy week of webinars and events to tell you about, with topics ranging from aviation and medical 3D printing to a town hall meeting, biomaterials, SLA technology,...
3DPOD Episode 85: Large Format 3D Printing with Poly Products’ Michiel de Bruijcker
Having previously worked for Bond3D and Admatec, Michiel de Bruijcker is now doing something very new and exciting in 3D printing. With Poly Products, he’s printing large-scale structures and parts. Using...
3DPOD Episode 84: 3D Printing Race Cars with Pat Warner, Alpine F1 Team
Upon the heels of a third-place win for Alpine F1’s Fernando Alonso at the Formula One Qatar Grand Prix, we’ve published this podcast episode with Pat Warner, Advanced Digital Manufacturing...
View our broad assortment of in house and third party products.