Siemens is no stranger to additive manufacturing, having become well known for its 3D printed gas turbine blades. Those gas turbines have accumulated 100,000 operating hours, and Siemens itself is about to add to its additive manufacturing operations with a new facility. The company is making a €30 million investment in a 3D printing factory for Materials Solutions, its additive manufacturing specialist. Scheduled to open in September 2018, the new facility will be located in Worcester, UK, and will double the company’s number of 3D printers to 50.
“This investment is part of our strategy to build and grow a global Additive Manufacturing services business for the aerospace, automotive, and other industries,” Markus Seibold, VP Additive Manufacturing, Siemens Power and Gas, explained.
The expansion is also expected to result in the creation of more than 50 new jobs in Worcester. It will be powered by Siemens Digital Enterprise Solutions, an end-to-end portfolio comprising software-based solutions and automation components that cover every possible requirement in the industrial value chain.
“Additive Manufacturing is a major pillar in our digitization strategy,” said Willi Meixner, CEO of Siemens Power and Gas Division. “This significant investment underlines our belief that there is huge potential for innovation and growth within the Additive Manufacturing sector. It is also the next step towards achieving our ambition of pioneering the industrialisation of this exciting new technology and demonstrates how we are leading the way for the fourth industrial revolution.”
Siemens has become a leader in 3D printing, as well as in the supply of software and solutions for the automation of the technology. Through Materials Solutions, the company offers engineering, 3D printing, and manufacturing services for customers in industries such as aviation, automotive and motor sports. Siemens acquired a majority stake in Materials Solutions in 2016; Materials Solutions is a pioneer in the use of Selective Laser Melting (SLM) technology for the manufacture of high performance metal parts, particularly high temperature super alloys.
Materials Solutions has grown significantly over the last two years, and this new expansion is expected to lead to the manufacture of thousands of parts for use in Siemens power generation equipment; the company works closely with Siemens’ Power and Gas division.
“After detailed product analyses, we identified more than 200 components we wanted to produce using Additive Manufacturing by 2022,” said Seibold. “Because Siemens owns the computer-aided design software NX, we already have the perfect tool for designing additively manufactured parts. Even better is our comprehensive automation experience, which is the ideal precondition for automating 3D printers. These end-to-end software and automation solutions – combined with our comprehensive expertise and our large printer fleet – make us the perfect company to industrialize additive manufacturing.”
The new facility will allow the company to provide increased support to its business partners in Asia. It’s the second Solution Centre, after last year’s in Cincinnati, Ohio, and it will further expand the number of BeAM-trained engineers who will contribute to the acceleration of the industrial adoption of 3D printing. They will also offer engineering services for local industrial companies.
The expansion follows the sale of a Magic 800 DED system to the Singapore Centre for 3D Printing – Nanyang Technological University. The company told 3DPrint.com at formnext 2017 about the upcoming expansion into Asia, with Vice President of Business Development Frédéric Le Moullec explaining:
“We will be expanding next year into Singapore. 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.”
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