HP wants to have the 3D printing technology heard ’round the world, and with their spate of recent expansions the company is making major headway across the globe. Just a week ago, HP followed through on plans revealed at RAPID to scale up its Multi Jet Fusion 3D printing platform, which had been publicly introduced a year prior at the same event, by announcing a major expansion into the world’s largest manufacturing market: the Asia-Pacific. Today in Tokyo, Stephen Nigro, President of HP’s 3D Printing business, was on hand at the Design Engineering & Manufacturing Solutions Expo (DMS) to announce new partnerships in the Japanese market.

Stephen Nigro at DMS in Tokyo

Japan has the third largest economy in the world, representing a major market for manufacturing with about 10% of global manufacturing activity, and is known for its advanced technologies — and increasingly known for investment into 3D printing as the country makes bigger moves to invest into additive manufacturing technologies.

“We are on the cusp of a transformation in manufacturing, enabled by new technologies such as 3D printing, artificial intelligence and robotics,” said Richard Bailey, President, HP Inc. Asia Pacific and Japan. “We are excited to introduce HP’s commercial 3D printing solution to reinvent manufacturing in Asia Pacific, delivering much higher speeds and lower costs while enabling on-demand, low-volume production. HP is building a strong community of local resellers and materials partners as well as customer experience centers that will provide comprehensive support to help our customers leverage this transformation.”

Today, HP announced partnerships with Mutoh Industries, Ltd. and Ricoh Japan Corp. These major collaborations are set to extend HP’s reach into Japan as Mutoh Industries and Ricoh Japan sign on as the world’s first HP 3D Printing Master Partners. The two companies will, in addition to value-added services and bringing what HP calls “best-in-class expertiese and knowledge of HP’s Multi Jet Fusion technology to customers deploying the solutions,” be working to extend the reach of HP’s 3D printing technology through the establishment of experience centers in Japan. These experience centers, part of HP’s worldwide plan to scale up its technologies, allow for potential customers to engage with Multi Jet Fusion to, as Nigro put it on a call ahead of RAPID, “kick the tires” to better understand their technology and its applications. The first 16 3D Printing Reference and Experience Centers, announced last month, are set for placement in seven US states and five European countries; with the expansion into the Asia-Pacific, that region is now getting ready to open its own centers. Beijing, Hangzhou, Shanghai, Taipei, Tokyo, Singapore, and Melbourne are the planned locations for the region’s initial centers; Mutoh and Ricoh will be collaborating with HP on efforts in Japan.

Q&A session at DMS featuring Stephen Nigro; HP Japan president Takashi Oka; and Qun Zhang, Head of 3D Printing Sales, Asia-Pacific

The Asia-Pacific expansion represents an important milestone in HP’s 3D printing development; by entering new markets, especially in countries that represent such a significant portion of global manufacturing, the company is showing great confidence in its solutions. Japan and China in particular hold great potential for HP’s growth, and Bailey recently reported that the company’s work in Asia is key to their strategy of reinventing manufacturing.

“One of our goals at HP is to help accelerate the reinvention of manufacturing. And one of the ways that we are partnering with our customers to do this is through 3D printing,” he wrote in a LinkedIn article.

“Critical to 3D printing’s long-term success in the region, will be the ability for commercial and industrial players across Asia Pacific to drive down costs through enhanced part quality and product capabilities.

This is something that my team and I are working hard to achieve. We are betting big on the Reinvention of the manufacturing industry in Asia Pacific by expanding our 3D printing business here. I could not be more excited. We are bringing the industry’s leading 3D printing technology, most robust partner community, and most innovative materials ecosystem to the region.

…For now, China and Japan are of particular importance. These markets are booming and the potential is there.”

Stephen Nigro shows MJF 3D printed parts in Tokyo

Asia has historically held a great deal of significance in manufacturing, and as manufacturing changes, so is the shape of that industry there. About half of all manufacturing activity in the world takes place in this region, representing around a $6 trillion economy. It’s only logical that additive manufacturing activity should extend to the hub of manufacturing, and HP is eager to explore the opportunities this presents.

While presently MJF 3D printing can create anything you want in any color you want, as long as it’s black (as 3Diligent’s CEO said with a nod to Henry Ford and a laugh at RAPID), additional materials capabilities are on the way as HP continues to work with its collaborative partners on its Open Materials Development platform. Future capabilities will include multi-color printing, embedded sensors and more, all of which are in development (and are keeping HP busy with IP). Working now with a more global partnership network, HP stands to benefit from additional development efforts — and will be allowing for great growth with these partner companies.

“We want to give manufacturers across the region unprecedented control over the colors, applications and materials they use. We are already discussing embedding intelligence like sensors, or information such as invisible inventory codes, into 3D-printed products. Just imagine what is to come,” Bailey wrote.

“This will transform manufacturing processes and supply chains, and – for all of us – change the types of products we use and the way in which we use them.”

For the first time in Japan, visitors to DMS this week can see the HP Jet Fusion 3D 4200/3200 Printing Solution and HP Jet Fusion 3D Processing Station with Fast Cooling, alongside part and material samples including HP 3D High Reusability PA 11, HP 3D High Reusability PA 12 and VESTOSINT 3D Z2773 PA 12. HP is appearing during DMS at booth #41-36. Discuss in the HP forum at 3DPB.com.

[All images: HP]

 

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