BeAM: DED Industrial Solutions Bring Additive Manufacturing to Complement Traditional Industry

Share this Article

At formnext 2017, France-based BeAM brought its latest introductions, including the first public appearance of the Modulo 400 metal additive manufacturing system and Vincent Gillet, the company’s new CEO. The opportunity to see both for the first time was too good to miss, and the frequent hum of activity at the company’s booth showed that I wasn’t the only one to think so, as I met with the team at formnext again this year.

Austin Kron, Business Development Manager, introduced me to both, starting with the Modulo 400. This system, with five powder feeders, is similar to BeAM’s Magic system, seen at their Cincinnati location, but a bit smaller. The Modulo 400 fits into a box truck, making it more compact and transportable, bringing BeAM’s directed energy deposition (DED) technology to more applications, such as for the military out in the field, or on an oil rig, to repair parts. Next year, we will see the Modulo 250 emerge, replacing the previous mobile model for an R&D-targeted, modular machine.

BeAM has been moving toward two-part, fully enclosed machines: “The footprint of the machine is the footprint of the machine,” Kron told me, pointing out that the Magic machine we’ve seen in Cincinnati requires the use of external systems set up for laser components.

Frédéric Le Moullec and Austin Kron

VP of Business Development Frédéric Le Moullec joined us to showcase some parts from customers in France, which were made within the first month or two of their machines’ installations. BeAM supports its customers through training and programming to ensure that they are able to quickly, and knowledgeably, get their machines up and running. The new Modulo, Le Moullec noted, will see three deliveries in France before the end of the year: to an R&D center at Safran, IRT Saint Exupéry, and OPT’ALM of Groupe Rossi Aero.

BeAM’s first machine sale outside of Europe is to Nanyang Technological University (NTU) in Singapore, Le Moullec continued, noting the company’s global expansion. NTU bought a Magic system, which will be delivered next year and put to use in research projects, similar to what BeAM has seen with its system installation at the UK’s University of Sheffield.

“We will be expanding next year into Singapore,” Moullec told me. “We will have a service center branch, starting with technical support for this first customer – and for more to come. This will be more than a sales branch; it will offer technical help and service. It will be a small-scale solutions center like we have in the US.”

CEO Gillet joined us then, as we discussed the implications of geographical expansion and the industry support for such a move.

“We see a lot more industrial people here using traditional manufacturing organization, with classic workshop setups. We see our technology as an add-on – not replacing theirs, but adding a feature,” Gillet told me of BeAM’s positioning.

Austin Kron and Vincent Gillet

BeAM, which had previously in its logo usage underscored the message of “Be Additive Manufacturing” now highlights “BeAM DED Industrial Solutions.” Additive manufacturing is part of a whole when it comes to industrial solutions, and BeAM is among the suppliers embracing this fact with a realistic approach.

“DED is repairing parts. Those coming from chemical and metallurgy industries, those doing fittings and pipings, they see our DED technology as a complementary tool. It is not a replacement; they are seeing much more of a complementary technology: it is DED with traditional, adding DED to a workflow,” Gillet told me.

For his part, Gillet comes from a background in metal processing, having worked with traditional manufacturing. He was appointed the CEO of BeAM in August 2017.

“For me, it is interesting to see how this is integrating into the supply chain, how it fits throughout work. This is a more mature business approach, basically how to fit into operation,” he explained. “It’s more than prototyping, more than research – it’s in the production chain. This is a full approach to manufacturing, which includes additive manufacturing.”

As Gillet understands first-hand, with more individuals coming into additive manufacturing from traditional manufacturing backgrounds, industrial technologies stand to benefit from experience and end-to-end understanding.

“People joining the industry now have this background; they are bringing more manufacturing into it, and joining these companies. They have that type of know-how,” he said.

Vincent Gillet with the Modulo 400

That level of experience is again complementary to developments already at hand in additive manufacturing – building on, and not replacing, or serving as a full solution for, manufacturing. As seen throughout the whole of formnext this year, additive manufacturing is a maturing – not a mature – technology, benefiting from the addition of more voices to the conversation.

“To be honest, this is still not a mature technology,” Gillet underscored. “There is a very optimistic vision for the industry. We are very careful to say we are working toward industrial applications, toward very good prototyping, toward research. You need to work on the stability of lasers, on processes – and this all is what we are working on.”

Discuss formnext 2017, and other 3D printing topics, at 3DPrintBoard.com or share your thoughts in the Facebook comments below.

[All photos: Sarah Goehrke]

 

Share this Article


Recent News

PEAK Launches Alien Beast 3D Printed Shoes for Limited Sale

Arevo Announces New Aqua 2 Carbon Fiber 3D Printer, $25M in Series B Funding



Categories

3D Design

3D Printed Art

3D printed automobiles

3D Printed Food


You May Also Like

Nexa3D Acquires NXT Factory, Introduces Eco-Friendly 3D Printing Washing Solvent

While Nexa3D may specialize in manufacturing super-fast stereolithography 3D printers, the company has been branching out recently, and narrowing its focus on the materials side of things. It launched the...

Featured

DyeMansion Secures Additional $14M in Series B Funding from New & Existing Investors

German company DyeMansion is known for its coloring and post-processing equipment, such as its three-step Print-to-Product workflow geared toward industrial 3D printing environments. Now, in order to continue transforming and...

T3D Announces New LCD-Based High-Speed 3D Printing System

Taiwan 3D Tech, also known as T3D, is a startup spin-off from the National Taiwan University of Science and Technology (NTUST). Headquartered in Taipei, the company was officially founded in...

3DPOD Episode 32: Tuan TranPham, Arevo

Tuan is known universally by his first name alone. Like Madonna and Beyonce, everyone knows hi by just that one name. In Tuan’s case his fame is 3D printing specific...


Shop

View our broad assortment of in house and third party products.