Over the last few years, industry leader Rolls-Royce plc, which manufactures high performance power systems, has utilized 3D printing technology in its processes numerous times, for applications like jet engine components, end-use car parts, customizable vehicle exteriors, and even parts for kid-sized luxury vehicles. With the latest news coming out of the 3D printing business world today, it appears that the company is still pretty interested in furthering its commitment to the technology. Clean tech company PyroGenesis Canada Inc., which designs, develops, manufactures, and commercializes plasma torch products and plasma waste-to-energy systems, has signed a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) with Rolls-Royce for additive manufacturing powders.
Montreal-based PyroGenesis invented the Plasma Atomization process, which produces small, spherical metal 3D printing powders that can flow like water.
Last year, the company announced that it was spinning off its 3D printing business into PyroGenesis Additive, an independent, publicly-traded company to distribute its metal powder equipment and systems. This spring, assembly was completed for the company’s first plasma atomization system, and the first powder run exceeded expectations.
Last month, PyroGenesis completed the successful ramp-up of its first system, during which it received multiple sample orders and developed potentially game-changing new intellectual property (IP) that can produce, with little to no waste, extremely narrow particle size distributions at higher rates of production.
In addition, the company said after the ramp-up was completed that it had also signed six NDAs with distributors and 3D printer manufacturers, with separate other agreements planned with multinational aircraft engine manufacturers. The purpose behind its new NDA with Rolls-Royce is to “encompass the evaluation and discussion of business opportunities, including proposal or offer generation, submission and evaluation, for the provision of providing powders” to the company.
Rolls-Royce invested £1.3 billion on research and development in 2016 alone. The company operates across five main businesses – Civil Aerospace, Defense Aerospace, Marine, Nuclear, and Power Systems – and has customers in over 150 countries, so this could be a pretty big deal for PyroGenesis. But we should also be careful about getting ahead of ourselves.
P. Peter Pascali, President and CEO of PyroGenesis, said, “We are very happy to be in discussions with Rolls Royce and look forward, now that the NDA has been signed, to have more substantive discussions on the production of powder for Rolls Royce. I must caution readers however, not to draw any premature conclusions from this announcement. Though it does signal the interest in our product, and that the interest comes from a very discerning, demanding, and sophisticated party, we are still at the very preliminary stages and there is no guarantee that anything, of any commercial value, will materialize form these efforts.”
PyroGenesis also announced that, in accordance with its Stock Option Plan, its Board of Directors approved the grant, subject to regulatory and Exchange approval, of up to 2,400,000 incentive stock options to a director – Pascali – so he could purchase up to an aggregate of 2,400,000 Common Shares of PyroGenesis, for $0.58 per share; this happened after the board reviewed a subsequent event in the Q3-2016 Management Discussion and Analysis when he had refused 2,000,000 options at $0.18 per share. The newly approved options, beginning on the date of the grant, will be exercisable for five years.
What do you think of this announcement? Discuss this and other 3D printing topics at 3DPrintBoard.com or share your thoughts in the Facebook comments below.[Source: PyroGenesis]