The 3D metal printing industry just continues to go up in value as more innovations, like printers and other machines, unique materials, software, and processes, continue to be developed every day. There are many companies, like AP&C in Canada, H.C. Starck in Germany, and Metalysis in the UK, focused on researching and working with metal AM powders. This week, the FOMAS Group, headquartered in Italy, and the Austria-based INTECO Group announced that they have signed a cooperation agreement to produce additive manufacturing metal powders.
The two are leaders in their own industrial niches – FOMAS Group calls on its sixty-plus years of technological experience and metals knowledge to focus on forgings and ring rolling, while INTECO has been a supplier and partner to the steel and general melting industry since 1973. Now, the two are joining forces in a development agreement that’s “rooted in their complementary industrial operations and joint vision on the future of the Additive Manufacturing industry.”
“This agreement will be instrumental in entering the Additive Manufacturing Markets. It will exploit synergies between our two companies and bring on the market a worldwide offer, it will be a structured process, powered by the achievements shared between us,” said Dr. Jacopo Guzzoni, VP & CEO of FOMAS Group. “We are pleased to join forces with INTECO Group (to us a very valuable and reliable partner since 2007) in our mutual vision to develop a new market.”
Under the joint agreement, the two will invest in human resources, and in next generation plants that will become new production sites for metal AM powders. One of the identical plants will be located near FOMAS headquarters in northern Italy, while the other will be with INTECO Group member Thermal Technology in Santa Rosa, California. INTECO will be developing the plants, which will open up new possibilities in powder production and include the following capacities:
- advanced technologies for process and product control
- capacity to develop tailored alloys and supply different batch sizes, which allows for customer flexibility
- constant availability of backup
- reduced batch sizes to guarantee process stability, constant powder quality, and predict properties of 3D printed parts
- shared and qualified sourcing point
The new facilities will produce customized, high quality metal AM powders of grades that have already been established, as well as creating new, highly specialized powders developed in cooperation with customers and for market demands. FOMAS has actually created a startup dedicated to metal AM powder production, which will be under the brand name MIMETE S.r.l. in the powder market next year. According to FOMAS, the MIMETE project will fit right in with its implementation of Industry 4.0.
AM materials development is a tough game, and has been going on since the mid-1980s. But as metal additive manufacturing capabilities continue to grow, it’s even more important to develop and process these materials, which are able to hold up under tough conditions. MIMETE will specialize in metal powder manufacturing, and target multiple markets, including aerospace, biomedical, power generation, and racing.
The FOMAS and INTECO groups have worked together for a long time, and this new agreement, coupled with the new MIMETE startup, will give the companies several advantages in the metal AM powder field, including an established supply chain, large scale, the use of proven technologies, and excellent logistics.
“This cooperation will set new standards on the metal powder market by elevating quality and the degree of customization available,” said Dr. Harald Holzgruber, the Managing Director INTECO Group. “Our combined strengths of innovative plant technology and profound knowledge in metallurgical processing will step by step lead us to success.”
What do you think about this joint agreement? Discuss this story, and other 3D printing topics, at 3DPrintBoard.com, or share your thoughts in the Facebook comments below.[Source/Images: FOMAS Group]