Safran and Prodways Group Announce Partnership to Develop Additive Manufacturing Processes and Materials
International high-technology group Safran, which has core businesses in aerospace, defense, and security, has just announced that it will partner up with French industrial-grade 3D printer manufacturer Prodways Group, in order to develop additive manufacturing processes and materials together. The technology partnership agreement that the two companies signed specifically centers around the development of assembly processes and 3D printable materials with inorganic compounds, like metals and ceramics, which can then be applied to Safran’s existing processes and products.
Both companies have previously been involved in other 3D printing partnerships with top companies: in 2015, Safran, headquartered in Paris, collaborated with Dassault Systèmes to look into developing a digital solution for 3D printing aerospace engine parts, and offered its support when Aequs and Farinia Group’s Spartacus3D were 3D printing aerospace components. Prodways, a subsidiary of Groupe Gorgé, joined with China’s Hunan Farsoon High-Tech to develop a plastic and metal 3D printer product range, and created a joint venture with Nexteam Group to develop mass-produced, onboard metal 3D printed aerospace parts.
In order to meet the requirements of constantly changing markets, Safran invests heavily in research and development, and manufactures products for a number of different sectors, including defense electronics, healthcare, and state-of-the-art security solutions. The company also develops, produces, and markets propulsion systems and engines for ballistic missiles, satellites, launch vehicles, and both civil and military helicopters and airplanes. Prodways provides multi-material solutions, which are backed by its patented MOVINGLIGHT technology, based on moving DLP and strong UVA LEDs.
Prodways and Safran have signed a five-year, general contract for their joint agreement, and the non-exclusive contract is renewable by a jointly agreed amendment. However, the two could, in the future, sign more specific contracts together, in areas ranging from high-temperature polymer powders for composites, casting, and metallic parts made by indirect manufacturing.
Stéphanie Cueille, Safran Executive Vice President, R&T and Innovation, said, “This agreement reflects Safran’s proactive policy on additive manufacturing. Safran is already at the cutting edge of this field, and uses 3D printing technology to make parts and subassemblies for its engines, as well as aircraft and defense equipment. Through this agreement, the two companies will be able to pool their skills to effectively transform the technology building blocks offered by Prodways into additive manufacturing processes for Safran products.”
As part of the joint agreement, Safran Corporate Ventures, which is the group’s corporate venture capital arm, is taking a stake in Prodways, along with BNPP, an international banking group, and French holding company Fimalac. Safran subscribed convertible bonds ahead of yesterday’s announced stock market listing of Prodways Group on Euronext Paris. Bpifrance and Financière Arbevel, along with the three previously listed investors, have all “pledged to subscribe to Prodways’ capital increase.” In addition to the joint agreement, the co-head of Safran Corporate Venutures, Hélène de Cointet, will also be joining the Board of Directors at Prodways Group. Discuss in the Safran Prodways forum at 3DPB.com.[Source: Safran]
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