It is in this context that Mitsubishi Chemical announces its acquisition of Dutch Filaments B.V.Mitsubishi Chemical Performance Polymers Europe B.V. (MCPP), a wholly owned subsidiary of Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings Corporation (MCHC), sees the acquisition as an investment into the 3D printing industry.
“With Dutch Filaments in our group of companies, we can add 3D printing materials to our portfolio. We see the demand from customers of various industries increasing and with the acquisition of Dutch Filaments we are able to not only fulfil their needs but to actively participate in the future of 3D printing development,” said Ralph Meier, President of Mitsubishi Chemical Performance Polymers in Europe.
MCHC is already invested in 3D printing through its subsidiary Verbatim, which entered the filament market in 2014. Adding Dutch Filaments to the MCPP portfolio will allow the company to gain a firm foothold, adding an experienced team of 70 employees and a production facility in the Netherlands. Richard Luiken will remain in place as the CEO of Dutch Filaments, taking on a leadership role in MCPP’s 3D printing strategy as the companies integrate operations.
Dutch Filaments, headquartered in Helmond, the Netherlands, was founded in December 2013, beginning production and sales in January 2014, and has grown to become one of Europe’s largest polymer-based filament manufacturers for FFF 3D printing. The company made the strategic business decision to manufacture only private label filaments, delivered exclusively via distribution and to 3D printer manufactuers. Dutch Filaments notes that its team holds strengths in the understanding of plastics, additives, master batches, dyes, and extrusion, allowing for the creation of a broad range of filament types and colors, all of which meet the directives of REACH and RoHS.
MCPP gains expertise in materials design and manufacturing targeted at 3D printing. The addition of the polymer-based filament line to MCPP’s performance polymers business portfolio will allow for a stronger positioning as additive manufacturing continues to rise as a strategic materials market.
“Mitsubishi Chemical is the perfect choice for our fast-growing company and our expansion plans can now be realized even faster with the expertise and global footprint of Mitsubishi Chemical,” Luiken said of the company’s experience.
MCPP notes that it will additionally “advance its strategy on performance polymers and other materials across Mitsubishi Chemical group, based on technologies and networks that Dutch Filaments has been building, and further expand 3D printing related businesses.” Among market segments the company notes as having particular opportunity are automotive, aerospace, and medical, each of which sees significant and rising use of 3D printing.In an announcement letter of the business decision, Luiken explains:
“We believe to have found in Mitsubishi Chemical the perfect company to realize our rapid global growth opportunities.
Dutch Filaments started as the result of an alliance between the founders Jan Meulendijks, Wim Spoormakers and Richard Luiken with Henry van Tilburg. After the merger in 2015 Dutch Filaments became a unique developer, manufacturer and supplier of private label, polymer based, 3D printing materials with a sales focus on 3D printer manufacturers, distributors of 3D printing materials and toll manufacturing for chemical companies and OEM’s.
With the support of Mitsubishi Chemical Performance Polymers Europe B.V. Dutch Filaments will not only be able to give an even better answer to the fast-growing demand for its filaments, but also new expertise, materials, techniques and the global footprint of Mitsubishi Chemical will further push our contribution to the 3D printing market.
For Mitsubishi Chemical Performance Polymers, the acquisition of Dutch Filaments is an important step to become a leading polymers and material supplier for 3D printing technology platforms to accelerate the implementation of 3D printing production. Expansion of manufacturing 3D printing filaments to other regions is planned to support our worldwide customers.”
The deal closed March 1.
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