AMS Spring 2023

Addman Continues Acquisition Spree with Harbec

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As Addman Engineering gears up to meet the additive manufacturing demands of aerospace, energy, and space, the company is on a spending spree, buying startups to build up its offering of advanced technologies that will enable breakthroughs in product development and manufacturing. The latest deal represents the fourth takeover carried out by Addman in the last 18 months and adds injection molding capability to the organization. In addition, the engineering-centric provider of additive and traditional manufacturing solutions announced on November 2, 2022, the acquisition of Harbec, a contract manufacturer of tight tolerance precision 3D printed metals and plastics, for an undisclosed amount.

Addman and Harbec leadership joining forces after the acquisition is complete. Image courtesy of Addman.

For more than 45 years, Harbec has specialized in the pre-production and production of precision machined components, metal and polymer 3D printing, injection molding with internal tool and die-making capabilities, and quality assurance. A turnkey contract manufacturing service provider, Harbec has extensive experience with various materials, including aluminum, titanium, Inconel, magnesium, steel, brass, and copper, and serves a nationwide customer base in the aerospace and defense, medical, and high-end industrial end markets.

Headquartered in Rochester, New York, Harbec operates a state-of-the-art, AS9100D (aerospace) and ISO13485:2016 (medical) certified facility with an ITAR license (defense) and an ISO Class 7 cleanroom, used in a variety of industries, from pharmaceutical laboratories to testing booths and specialist manufacturing facilities. Its 110,000-square-foot fully sustainable facility has been carbon neutral since 2013 and water neutral since 2015. Onsite, the contract manufacturer bolsters renewable energy sources and solutions, including two (850 kW) wind turbines on campus that provides a clean, sustainable, and renewable energy source supporting geothermal heating and cooling throughout the year and ensuring services are uninterrupted.

Harbec’s impressive achievements under company founder and industry veteran Bob Bechtold are another key acquisition consideration for Addman’s acquisition decision, as the company aims to power a greener future. Driven by his strong belief in the value of eco-economics, Bechtold shares that one of the main goals of his company is to see others adopt an environmentally conscious manufacturing approach, which he calls ‘The Harbec Way.’

“Joining the Addman group helps us do exactly that across the country. We look forward to applying our sustainable manufacturing processes throughout Addman,” points out Bechtold.

Harbec’s operation in Ontario, New York, adds 160 employees to the Addman network along with injection molding capabilities. Image courtesy of Harbec.

The transaction is expected to add 160 talented and dedicated employees to the broader Addman organization. However, Michael Shaffer, business development manager at Addman, stated on a social media post that Addman engineers have already been able to transition some of the firm’s AM polymer prototype projects to injection molding at Harbec and look forward to offering this capability to current and future customers. 

At the leadership level, Harbec’s Chief Operating Officer (COO), Christopher Piedici, will maintain day-to-day oversight of the business and will now report to Tim Kanne, Addman’s Operations Advisor. The acquisition, supported by private equity firm American Industrial Partners (AIP), unlocks end-to-end polymer product lifecycle services for customers while combining industry-leading engineering talent.

Addman CEO Joe Calmese suggested that Harbec’s expertise with injection molding is a new capability to Addman that “rounds out our company’s polymer product offerings. We now have the tools that span the full product lifecycle for plastics, and that’s powerful. Furthermore, deepening our capabilities in precision machining and additive manufacturing allows us to target critical new markets, including our growing medical business.”

For Calmese, the new purchase adds value to Addman’s ever-growing portfolio. As the fourth acquisition in less than two years, Harbec cements Addman as a largely diversified partner in the contract manufacturing space.

News of the acquisition comes less than a year after Addman announced the addition of Castheon, a laser powder bed fusion process developer and leading provider of AM technologies for mission-critical space applications, enabling Addman to become a top-tier 3D printing service provider for the space industry. Previously the engineering company had purchased Minnesota-based precision manufacturer Domaille Engineering and 3rd Dimension Industrial 3D Printing, a Westfield, Indiana provider of metal AM solutions.

Addman acquires 3rd Dimension Industrial 3D Printing. Image courtesy of Addman.

Established by the AIP in 2020 from its $8 billion private equity funds, Addman uses AM and advanced technologies to enable product development and manufacturing breakthroughs for its customers.

AIP partner and Addman board member praised the latest move, stating, “AIP formed Addman to modernize how Americans think about manufacturing. This acquisition expands our use of innovative technology and integrates impressive sustainable manufacturing methodologies into our portfolio. Addman is positioned for continued success with Harbec now in its orbit.”

Aside from its New York headquarters, the engineering firm owns six facilities across the U.S. with at least 24 additive machines sitting on 177,000 square feet of scalable footprint, capable of providing the resources needed for any stage and size project. For example, one of the latest 3D printing systems acquired was a full-stack laser powder bed fusion 3D printing solution from Velo3D installed at Addman’s Indianapolis facility in 2021 and dedicated to running Inconel 718 for a wide variety of industries, including aerospace, that demand immediate production. However, worldwide interest in AM requires Addman to bring in even more 3D printing systems, which is why the engineering firm has already ordered additional machines from Velo3D to be delivered in 2022 and continues to acquire companies to improve its portfolio offerings and show customers how serious it is about the future of its customers’ industries.

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