Australian metal 3D printing company Titomic, known for its innovative Titomic Kinetic Fusion (TKF) process, has plenty of big news to share this week. First, CEO Gilbert Michaca, who was responsible for implementing a series of governance and operational structures to support Titomic’s next growth phase, has resigned from the company.
“I have enjoyed my time with Titomic and the additive manufacturing sector, but I am moving to pursue other commercial opportunities more aligned with my interests,” said Michaca. “I look forward to witnessing Titomic’s growth and prosperity in the future.”
In addition to Michaca’s resignation, Titomic announced that its founder and former Interim CEO Jeffrey Lang, who led the company through its IPO, and the establishment of its cold spray facility in Melbourne, has now been appointed as the Managing Director, effective immediately.
“Following our whirlwind IPO and unprecedented growth phase, the Titomic team has delivered a lot in a very short period of time,” said Titomic Chairman Philip Vafiadis. “With Jeff stepping into his new role as the Company’s Managing Director we are excited that his significant knowledge and networks across industry sectors, his deep understanding of the technology, his experience, his passion and his understanding of investor needs bodes well for future growth and shareholder value.”
Moving on from news about its executives, Titomic has just signed a $1.8 million, year-long MoU with fellow Australian company TAUV Proprietary Limited (TAUV), which integrates electronic technologies into solider protection for the purposes of improving safety and performance. Together, the two will begin an exclusive defense program for Titomic to manufacture soldier systems, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), and soldier sensors for TAUV.
Recently, TAUV completed a successful launch of the first ruggedized titanium tactical UAV at Land Forces 2018, which was manufactured by Titomic and caused great excitement in both the additive manufacturing and defense industries. This launch was Phase 1 of the partnership between the two companies, and the MoU was signed after the prototype drone launch. TAUV and Titomic agreed to a two-phase extension to their existing relationship, so that TAUV can license the TKF technology, patented in both the US and Australia, in order to make next-generation soldier systems.
According to Research and Markets, “The soldier systems market is projected to grow from USD$9.78 billion in 2018 to USD$14 billion by 2023, at a CAGR of 7.65%.”
TAUV worked hard to secure exclusivity with Titomic for the manufacture of its UAV and other soldier system products, like body armor and helmets. Under Phase II of the partnership, Titomic will deliver a feasibility report, which outlines mechanical properties, performance parameters, and product cost advantages of its technology, to TAUV. TAUV must outline the Specific Products on or before November 30, at a total Phase cost of $300,000, in order to execute Phase II and maintain exclusivity.
“This MoU with TAUV provides the first significant revenue for Titomic,” said Lang. “The granting of an exclusive license to TAUV for the production of solider systems further validates Titomic’s licensed CSIRO patents as a viable additive manufacturing process that enables Australian companies to manufacture cutting-edge products with competitive advantages for the global market.”
For Phase III, Titomic will design and engineer a manufacturing process for TAUV’s next-generation soldier system for up to five products, at a cost of $300,000 each, to add up to a total revenue of up to $1.5 million. Once the production and evaluation trials in this phase have been completed, the two companies will finalize product licenses so that TAUV can use the automated TKF production line systems to fabricate soldier system products…with continuing royalty payments going to Titomic for the use of its technology.
TKF uses a process similar to cold spray to build up titanium parts layer by layer, rather than simply coating a surface, and has no limits in terms of shape and size. The technology has unique additive manufacturing capabilities to offer to defense organizations for the production of lightweight, next-generation, high-performance products.
“The solider system products produced by Titomic’s TKF process will enhance the offering to defence and law enforcement agencies through improved strength, functionality and capability,” said TAUV Director Nathan Kalisch. “A new ruggedised UAV will be capable of deployment in dangerous, live combat situations to perform some of the direct combat roles we want to remove military personnel from, heightening their security.”
This continuing partnership came about as the result from an increasing demand around the world for innovative new defense products. According to Variant Market Research, the market for combat helmets is estimated to grow to $3 billion by the year 2024, while Grand View Research states estimates that by the same year, the body armor market will be valued at $4 billion.
In the future, TAUV will be working closely with Force Ordnance to provide product innovation and advanced manufacturing solutions to some of the largest defense product manufacturers in the world.
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