Spanish OEM Meltio Enters Indian Market to Distribute Metal 3D Printers

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Meltio, an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) of metal wire directed energy deposition (DED) platforms, has made IRTI Robotics its first official sales partner in India. IRTI (Iconics Research & Training Institute) is headquartered in western India in the city of Pune, the second-largest city in India’s second-largest state, Maharashtra.

Meltio’s wire laser metal deposition additive manufacturing (AM) technology is highly versatile, able to process both wire and powder simultaneously, with the company placing a strong emphasis on optimizing the Meltio deposition head for integration with a variety of different manufacturing technologies, including CNC machines and robotic arms. For instance, in November, 2022, the US Navy completed its first permanent installation of a metal 3D printer on an in-service vessel, the USS Bataan: a Phillips Additive Hybrid, which combines the Meltio deposition head with a Haas TM-1 computer numerical control mill.

The Phillips Additive Hybrid platform, which includes the Meltio Engine, that was installed aboard the USS Bataan. Image courtesy of Phillips Corp.

In a press release about Meltio’s entry into the Indian market, Luis Carlo Molinero, Meltio’s sales manager for India, said, “We are thrilled to be working with companies like IRTI Robotics as their expertise as well as customer-centric approach are exactly what we are looking for when incorporating partners in the Meltio partner ecosystem. Together, we will be able to cater to the ever-growing needs of the Indian market, and ease the adoption of metal [AM].”

Image courtesy of Meltio

The US government has been ramping up its military cooperation with India for over a decade, and, in June, 2023, the DoD and the Indian Ministry of Defense (MoD) announced the Indian-US Defense Acceleration Ecosystem (INDUS-X), “to expand the strategic technology partnership and defense industrial cooperation between [US and Indian] governments, businesses, and academic institutions.” Similarly, the Spanish government has made greater cooperation with India a major focus in recent years: in April, 2023, India’s Commerce Secretary and Spain’s Secretary of State for Trade agreed to “increase cooperation” in a range of critical industries, including renewable energy, shipping, and defense.

In a press release issued at the time by the Indian Ministry of Commerce and Industry, the ministry stated, “India and Spain are looking forward to considerable progress in the ongoing India-EU free trade agreement negotiations during the upcoming Spanish Presidency of EU from July to December 2023.” The presidency of the Council of the European Union rotates to a different EU member state every six months, with the role of Council Presidency including key powers to set the agenda for legislation under consideration by the EU, as well as to lead negotiations between different EU institutions.

Thus, this is a particularly momentous time for a Spanish OEM to gain a foothold into the Indian economy, especially considering the sectors that Meltio has access to, as well as the strategic location of IRTI. Pune is one of the most significant hubs for automotive manufacturing in India, a nation that surpassed Japan in 2022 to become the world’s third-largest auto market. According to a 2020 CNBC article, “Pune attracts about 20 percent of the entire industrial investment in the country.”

Moreover, India has been making a major push lately to accelerate the smart manufacturing training of its industrial workers, especially as concerns AM workforce development. Just last week, IIT Madras announced an online certificate program in ‘AM Technologies for Practicing Engineers.’ This trend suggests that a training firm like IRTI may be a rather inspired choice for a sales partner.

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