AMS Spring 2023

SMS Group Helps Customers Digitalize Through 3D Printing and Other Tech

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German family-owned business SMS Group works with metal companies to develop solutions for new plants, modernized or digitalized plants, and more. The company just reported strong numbers for the last quarter, and is looking ahead to a busy and productive remainder of 2018.

“SMS group is the world market leader in plant and mechanical engineering for the steel and non-ferrous metals industry,” said CEO Burkhardt Dahmen. “We have worked hard to sustainably strengthen our position as the most modern and efficient company in the industry. Above all, we owe this to the extraordinary dedication of our employees.”

SMS Group is a leader in digitalization, and has developed a concept known as the “Learning Factory” in which humans and machines work together in an intelligent and largely autonomous production environment. Recently, SMS Group commissioned a “Learning Steel Mill” for Arkansas customer Big River Steel, which was developed jointly with the customer. It has thus far met all expectations in practice, and SMS Group recently received approval for an extension stage.

The company is investing further in the production and processing of new high tech materials and intelligent environmental technologies. Its activities are being bundled in a company-wide strategy program called “New Horizon,” for which the first customer projects have already been successfully completed. These projects include the world’s first “UrbanGold plant,” which is a new type of system that allows valuable, high-purity precious metals such as copper, nickel, gold, silver and platinum to be economically recovered from scrap metal such as printed circuit boards in laptops and phones. Through Urban Gold precious materials could be reclaimed close to where you or I live. At the moment such circuit boards are sent half way around the world where the entire PC or laptop are often burned in order to extract the precious metal.

SMS Group is also working on the production of high-purity metal powders for additive manufacturing. The company recently built and commissioned an industrial pilot plant to produce metal powder with microscopically small homogeneous spheres. In addition, SMS Group is building a demo center for the entire process chain of additive manufacturing, from metal powders to end products.

Further innovation is coming from the Paul Wurth Group, which is part of the SMS Group. The company has developed a new solution for decentralized energy generation that involves W2E (Waste-to-Energy) and B2E (Biomass-to-Energy) plants, as well as combined heat and power plants that are used as environmentally friendly and resource-saving energy sources.

“Quality work and innovation are our most important characteristics,” said Dahmen. “Our customers expect precision in their implementation and creativity in solving the most complex problems. We are also making use of these strengths in the further development of the SMS group itself. With ‘New Horizon’ and our digitalization offensive, we have launched a sophisticated growth program that will sustainably strengthen our company’s leading position.”

Worldwide, SMS Group has about 13,500 employees who generate sales of more than €3 billion. The corporation is made up of a group of companies located on five continents. As a whole, the group is a forward-thinking, technologically-minded corporation that works with a number of resources, including additive manufacturing, to help companies become more efficient, ecological and productive. Projects such as the Learning Factories, New Horizon and the UrbanGold plant are examples of how SMS Group is helping its customers move forward through technology.

Involvement in 3D Printing from firms with deep expertise in manufacturing will lead to the expansion of all of our capabilities.

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[Images: SMS Group]

 

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