Additive Manufacturing Strategies

Arcam AB Separates Electron Beam Melting 3D Printing Business into Separate Unit, Names New Arcam EBM General Manager

ST Medical Devices

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Metal additive manufacturing solutions provider Arcam AB specializes in building machines that can 3D print with specialized metal alloys, and holds over 50 existing patents, including two for metal 3D printing powder materials that its Canadian metal powder manufacturing subsidiary AP&C (Advanced Powders and Coatings) filed. The company is headquartered in Mölndal, Sweden, but expanded to the US to open a sales and support office in 2015, and Arcam CEO Magnus René moved there himself not long after.

The company is also known for its innovative Electron Beam Melting (EBM) technology, which offers high productivity and materials properties, and design freedom. To continue its growth trends, Arcam has decided to separate its EBM business from Arcam AB, and put it in the new Arcam EBM unit, naming Karl Lindblom as General Manager.

This isn’t the first major change Arcam has dealt with recently. A few months ago, leading digital industry company GE, which has worked with Arcam before as an aerospace customer, announced that it would be investing a whopping $1.4 billion to acquire both Arcam and German SLM Solutions. In 2015, GE expanded and developed the use of Arcam’s EBM technology, which creates fully dense metal parts by using laser beams on a metal powder bed. As GE has been utilizing EBM technology for quite some time, it’s not surprising that the company wanted to acquire Arcam and work to develop the technology further as the global giant more deeply entrenches itself in the 3D printing industry.

Arcam’s EBM process takes place at high temperatures in a vacuum, so its stress relieved components have material properties that are similar to wrought material. A high-powered electron beam generates the necessary energy for high melting capacity. The beam is managed by electromagnetic coils, which offer accurate, fast beam control so Arcam’s MultiBeam process can work, by maintaining several melt pools at the same time. Arcam released its 2016 financial results last month, and while its overall net sales increased by 12.5%, with an 18% increase in the fourth quarter of 2016, it took ten fewer orders for its EBM systems than it had in 2015.

EBM machine window

“We continue to pursue and develop our long-term strategy to industrialize the EBM technology and simultaneously developing the metal powder manufacturing and contract manufacturing businesses,” Arcam stated. “We invest significantly in technology, marketing and manufacturing capacity to meet our customers’ demands and growing expectations on productivity and reliability.”

Karl Lindblom [Image: WN.com]

Arcam EBM will also be based out Sweden, and has sales and service operations in several different countries, including China, England, Germany, Italy, and the US. Lindblom will begin as the head of Arcam EBM on Monday, April 3, presiding over the roughly 150 employees in the EBM organization.

“We are very pleased to welcome Karl to Arcam EBM,” said Magnus René, CEO of Arcam. “Karl strengthens our management to further accelerate and grow our EBM business.”

Lindblom, who has an M.Sc. from the University of Linköping in Sweden, has worked in product management, support, and sales. But more importantly for his new position, he has nearly three decades of corporate management experience working with international, industrial business that are based in Sweden. Lindblom was most recently the Head of leading manufacturing and automation supplier company Bosch Rexroth Nordic, and the CEO of Hägglund Drive Systems, an integrated part of Bosch Rexroth. Discuss in the Arcam forum at 3DPB.com.

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