Over the last several months, Australia-based metal 3D printing company Titomic has been keeping busy, announcing new executives and collaborations with both a mining and oil & gas engineering services company and Callaway Golf Company. Now, Titomic has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Australian division of Italy-based Fincantieri, one of the world’s largest shipbuilding groups.
Fincantieri has a total of 20 shipyards across four continents – it’s a leader in the design, construction, maintenance, and refurbishment of cruise ships, and is what Titomic calls a reference player in all of the high-tech shipbuilding industry sectors, ranging from offshore vessels to naval. It’s the top shipbuilding company in terms of innovation and diversification, and works with all kinds of ships, from mega-yachts and ferries to cruise ships and complex special vessels. The company, which employs over 19,500 people and is a shortlisted bidder for The Future Frigates SEA 5000 program in Australia, also works on systems and equipment production and after-sales services.
“We are pleased to partner with Titomic, an innovative advanced manufacturing company, to pursue new technological development, continuous improvement and value creation for all our stakeholders,” said Mario Deste, the Chairman of Fincantieri Australia. “The significance of this partnership examines how we can introduce new manufacturing technologies to make Australia sovereign in advanced naval technology and improve our solutions on the world-wide market.”
The agreement with Fincantieri is Titomic’s first MoU for the marine sector, which centers around the offshore, repair, and shipbuilding industries. However, the company won the Best Maritime Innovation award at the Pacific 2017 International Maritime Exposition, and this new MoU solidifies its entry into offshore and shipbuilding. The MoU, beginning immediately, lasts for 12 months, and will allow Titomic and Fincantieri to work together to discern the potential of using the Titomic Kinetic Fusion 3D printing process, which builds up titanium parts layer by layer with no shape or size limitations, for Fincantieri’s manufacturing activities.
“This agreement with Fincantieri marks a significant milestone for future shipbuilding and industrial scale additive manufacturing,” said Jeff Lang, CEO and CTO of Titomic. “Titomic’s signing with Fincantieri to evaluate our Titomic Kinetic Fusion process will not only add value to existing manufacturing and repair activities, it will lead to the creation of next generation high tech vessels.”
The cost-oriented shipbuilding industry, which is quite traditional, is increasingly using 3D printing, putting the technology to work manufacturing such innovations as a 3D printed class-approved propeller and implementing the Shipyard 4.0 model. As Fincantieri has built over 7,000 vessels in its more than 230 years of maritime history, and counts several navies, European defense companies, and major cruise operators as clients, this MoU is a strong move for Titomic.
Titomic’s Kinetic Fusion technology can 3D print stronger metal structures without any bending, folding, or welding, and is able to join together dissimilar metals and composites for engineered properties in a single structure; it also offers high production speeds and decreased time to market. The MoU is a good start to what should be a synergistic partnership between the two companies, and will explore the ability of Titomic’s patented, proprietary processes to both complement and improve upon Fincantieri’s current fabrication methods.
Representatives from Fincantieri Australia will be in attendance at Titomic’s launch of the world’s largest metal 3D printer later this week, which will take place at its Melbourne facility. In addition, this facility will be home to the initial R&D phase of its MoU with Fincantieri.
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