NTT DATA XAM and Alloyed Aim to Advance AM in Japanese Market

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NTT Data’s XAM Technologies, a company founded in 2020 that supports a broad range of services in additive manufacturing (AM), has entered into a collaborative project along with Alloyed, the trading name of Oxmet Technologies Ltd of Oxford, UK, to build an an AM business in Japan. The two companies have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) by which XAM is the preferred manufacturer for components made using Alloyed’s special alloys in Japan.

Fine-featured alloy components made possible by ABD. (Image courtesy of Alloyed)

The Japanese company NTT DATA XAM Technologies just began business operations in July this year, and shortly after, had entered into a partnership with US-based nTopology for distribution of its software solutions and to develop next generation engineering tools. NTT DATA XAM is looking to reach a business scale of ¥10 billion yen by 2025, and will be relying on international alliances to achieve this. It has already partnered with EOS for sales and support of their 3D printers in Japan. nTopology had also partnered with Yamaichi Special Steel to provide its software solutions in Japan’s automotive industry.

Hitoshi Sakai, CTO of NTT DATA XAM TECHNOLOGIES, said “OxMet Technologies and Betatype are leading European companies in the area of advanced material and advanced engineering for the Additive Manufacturing field and we are truly honored to be able to establish collaboration with Alloyed including these two leading edge companies while the expectations for additive manufacturing are getting higher in Japan.

“Although AM remains developing technology, we are expecting that the joint and collaborative application of the competitive advantages of each company– Material knowledge, Process know-how, Engineering skill – can create a new era of applications which fulfill the maximum potential of additive manufacturing. With continuous launch of leading edge applications for additive manufacturing as the core business, we will devote our best efforts toward the improvement and further spread of AM technologies to the extent that AM becomes established manufacturing process.”

NTT DATA XAM Technologies’ broad range of offerings include machine sales, technical support, consulting relating to AM, application development for AM, material development, contract manufacturing of AM parts, and more.

Michael Holmes, CEO of Alloyed, said “We have been seeking a dynamic partner with broad market access with whom we could collaborate in Japan, and NDES has the ideal attributes: an ambitious management team with strong corporate backing, extensive experience in additive manufacture, a range of industrial customers, and strong connections in many of the industries in which we think additive manufacturing has revolutionary potential.  Together, we hope we can fulfill the potential of additive manufacture to bring game-changing performance enhancements, more responsive supply chains, huge potential for customisation, and rapid product development to a range of 21st century industries.”

Alloyed had already been connected with the Japanese market. In the beginning of this year, Alloyed completed a £10.7m (¥1.4bn) equity funding round, in which JX Mining and Metals of Japan was a major investor. In April, the company had opened an office in Tokyo, Japan to serve its existing customers there and expand into the Japanese market. The Alloyed group of companies include Oxmet (with its metallurgical expertise and award-winning Alloy by Design, ABD, software platform), Betatype (with its design optimisation and process control expertise) and Alloyed’s digital manufacturing and production solutions. In July this year, the company released the first high-performance aluminium superalloy, ABD-900 AM for crack-free additive manufacturing, increasing part life, withstanding temperatures where materials such as Inconel 718 are no longer viable. The advanced materials company also won Institute of Physics Business Startup award for 2020, for the work done to develop the ABD platform.

Mechanical property assessment for heat-treated alloy Inconel 718 and ABD-900AM after using laser powder bed fusion (Image courtesy of Alloyed)

Printing features less than 1mm in special alloy materials without microstructural cracking or porosity. (Image courtesy of Oxmet Tech)

The 900 in the name of the superalloy is for the 900°C working temperature the material is capable of withstanding. The alloy was formulated using the ABD platform, which uses data and advanced physical models to design, simulate and optimize new alloy solutions, or improve existing ones for specific applications.  In September this year, the company partnered with Germany-based Taniobis, a specialist in tantalum and niobium metal powders for AM and owned by JX Mining and Metals, to develop high quality titanium and refractory alloys for AM applications.

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