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Toward the end of last year, global adhesives manufacturer Henkel announced that it would be expanding its facility in Tallaght, Dublin, Ireland, to include a new additive manufacturing operation. Today, Henkel officially announced the opening of the new facility, called the Innovation and Interaction Centre for Additive Manufacturing (3D Printing). The center will become Henkel’s European regional hub for technology presentations and demonstrations, training, testing and customer service.

The project is based on a four-year investment plan with an estimated maximum spending of €18 million. The plan is to expand Henkel’s capabilities in R&D, and application and product development. A team of skilled scientists and engineers will develop new advanced materials for use in industrial manufacturing.

The Innovation and Interaction Centre currently has 700 square meters of labs, customer service offices, meeting rooms and 3D printing facilities. Over the next two years, Henkel plans to further expand the center to include five additional laboratories, workstations and meeting spaces.

“The opening of this new Additive Manufacturing centre of excellence further consolidates Henkel’s operations in Ireland where the company already employs 400 people across three sites,” said Damien English, Minister of State at the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government. “The company’s choice of Dublin for this European hub for 3D Printing technology is a clear endorsement of the innovation ecosystem in Ireland. We very much appreciate Henkel’s investment and the quality jobs being provided, which will help put Ireland at the forefront of a new and exciting chapter in manufacturing.”

The center is the first in a series of next-generation industrial customer centers. Two additional regional centers are also in development, in Rocky Hill, Connecticut and in Shanghai.

[Image: LPW]

Henkel isn’t the only company to open a new additive manufacturing facility in the past few days. LPW Technology, manufacturer of metal powders and powder traceability solutions for the additive manufacturing industry, has officially opened its new metal powder manufacturing facility for additive manufacturing. The £20 million facility is located in Widnes, near Liverpool, and is comprised of 90,000 square feet on seven acres.

“It is very uplifting to see LPW, whom the Borough has supported in its development of this site, deliver for UK Manufacturing,” said Cllr Rob Polhill, Leader of Halton Borough Council. “Manufacturing growth is at the heart of our region’s economic success and LPW is continuing to develop technologies and products to create skilled job opportunities here in Halton in the rapidly growing field of 3D metal printing technology. This demonstrates the success of the advanced manufacturing sector in the North West.”

The new center, opened by HRH The Duke of Gloucester, is the first metal powder facility in the world dedicated specifically to additive manufacturing. Complete digital integration of processes, along with a focus on contamination control, ensure quality throughout the facility. The factory has been designed to engineer out contamination. Careful separation of materials is ensured through separate cells, protected by airlocks and operating as clean rooms. The facility is also equipped with LPW’s PowderLife, a metal powder lifecycle tracking system, to ensure that the material is strictly controlled through every step of the process from raw material to customer site.

[Image: LPW]

The center houses several atomisers, equipment that melts feedstock at approximately 1700ºC. The molten metal is then converted into powder used to 3D print parts for industries including biomedical, automotive and aerospace. In addition to manufacturing metal powder for additive manufacturing, LPW houses leading material testing equipment to fully characterize metal powders and 3D printers to develop the next generation of additive manufacturing materials.

“As LPW moves confidently into this next stage of our growth plan, we place immense value on our exceptional employees who are making this possible,” said LPW CEO Phil Carroll. “I’m extremely grateful for the support received from Halton Borough Council and the UK government’s Advanced Manufacturing Supply Chain Initiative (AMSCI). To be part of a UK-based manufacturer helping to realise the potential of 3D printing in applications across the world makes me incredibly proud.”

Discuss this and other 3D printing topics at 3DPrintBoard.com, or share your thoughts below.

 

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