Italian manufacturer of laser systems Prima Industrie (BIT: PRI) officially spun off its business unit dedicated to additive manufacturing (AM). Newcomer Prima Additive has emerged as its own company following a merger with local startup 3D New Technologies, which develops a family of innovative machines capable of 3D printing medium to large metal parts. Following the merger, the company has been christened Prima Additive as a tribute to its parent firm and the technology it represents.
Up until now, Prima Additive was the AM division of the Prima Industrie Group, headquartered in Turin, Italy, and focused on developing Powder Bed Fusion (PBF) and Direct Energy Deposition (DED) machines, as well as other machine tools for 3D printing. As a result, the company is one of the most active and leading firms in Italy’s AM ecosystem. During the Formnext 2021 show alone, Prima Additive unveiled three new machines, two PBF and one DED system.
Leaning on its parent firm’s laser system manufacturing expertise, Prima Additive has created devices with a unique laser source configuration. For example, its Print Genius 150 Double Wavelength platform has a 300 W infrared laser and a 200 W green laser, which can operate alternatively in the same work area. Another solution, the Print Genius 250 solution for high productivity metal printing applications, can reduce production times thanks to its 500 W single-mode dual laser, combined with intelligent software for a quick orientation of the pieces and the definition of the machine parameters.
Through this merger, the duo plans to unite their synergies to accelerate the development and commercialization process of AM products and the growth plans of the new company that will operate in a market with excellent development prospects. The transaction is also linked to a larger project that will launch in the coming months when new investors are expected to back this new company to accelerate its business development plans further.
A promising market for AM
The two merged companies have a history spanning back to 2017, when Prima Industrie first invested in 3D New Technologies and began collaborating with the group to develop innovative systems based on PBF technology. Even more so, according to the online media site Industria Italiana, in 2020, Prima reaffirmed its investment in the startup and grew its capital share to 20%. This series of steps would lead to the imminent merger.
Led by Gianfranco Carbonato, Prima Industrie had already anticipated in October 2021 the deal that would turn the division into a company, a new partnership with 3D New Technologies, and a €7 million revenue goal. At the time, the Prima Additive business unit of Prima Industrie had a turnover of roughly €5 million, which, with the planned merger, is now expected to increase.
Prima Additive will maintain close collaborative relationships with Prima Industrie, which will remain the majority shareholder of the new company, with a stake of 50.01 percent. Furthermore, the spinout will be led by Paolo Calefati, who went from the Head of Additive Manufacturing and Innovation at Prima Industrie to CEO of Prima Additive.
Following the completion of the transaction, Paolo Calefati said the merger represents growth and investment in the 3D printing sector by Prima Industrie.
“The operation combines the global dimension and the long tradition of innovation in the engineering and production of laser machines of the Prima Industrie Group with the agility and dynamism of the startup 3D New Technologies. Furthermore, this operation is a first step in attracting both financial and industrial investors who are already leaders in this market. This is an important project to guide and concentrate the skills acquired and the technologies developed in recent years towards the significant market and business growth,” highlighted Calefati.
Serving a wide range of industries, including electronics, aerospace, energy, oil, and gas, Prima Additive is geared towards comprehensive customer support. It provides a suite of services that can be tailored to the different needs of each company. Aside from its development of proprietary PBF and DED machines, it offers customers advanced training, application-oriented technical consultancy for additive manufacturing, additive product re-design, and process optimization.
Aiming to provide a roadmap for AM technology, Prima Additive is an active participant in several research consortia, and innovation projects focused on additive technologies, both in Europe and regionally. Like many other competing businesses, it is focused on driving 3D printing adoption and implementation to create “factories of the future” and partake in a European AM market that represents, in all its many industrial forms, a turnover exceeding €100 billion per year.
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