The board of AML3D, the Australian original equipment manufacturer (OEM) of metal additive manufacturing (AM) platforms, recently concluded a four month review of the company’s leadership structure, which has resulted in the company’s interim CEO, Sean Ebert, being named managing director. Pete Goumas, previously the VP at US defense contractor BWX Technologies, has been named AML3D’s President of US Operations.
Meanwhile, AML3D has continued to accumulate its sales to the US Navy in support of the navy’s Submarine Industrial Base (SIB) program. This includes a contract to test parts made from copper-nickel alloy (worth $230,000) and a contract to print a nickel-aluminum-bronze (NAB) prototype component weighing around 1 metric ton (worth $387,000). AML3D expects the copper-nickel alloy testing contract to take three to four months and the prototype contract to take around six months.
AML3D also announced the leasing of an ARCEMY 2600 Edition, the company’s smallest scale model, to a new customer, Laser Welding Solutions (LWS), based in Houston, Texas. The lease, worth $220,000, includes a 12-month software licensing and technical support contract. LWS, which has the option to buy the system at any time during the year-long lease agreement, will also use the AML3D platform to produce NAB components for the SIB.
I’ve mentioned the impact that the Australia-UK-US (AUKUS) security pact is already having on the Australian AM sector in multiple recent posts. AUKUS is also clearly impacting the US AM sector, and, slowly but surely, seems to be starting to filter into the UK manufacturing scene, as well (AUKUS is not just about submarines, it entails a range of Industry4.0 topics).
Going forward, the nonprofit organization BlueForge Alliance, headquartered in Bryan, Texas and founded in 2022, looks like it will be indispensable to AUKUS’s international implementation. BlueForge is not only a new organization but seems to be a new type of organization, touting itself as a “neutral integrator”, meaning it exists to enable companies like AML3D to find their way into the defense industrial base. A large majority of the monetary value of AML3D’s defense contracts so far this year have been facilitated by BlueForge.
This means that AML3D’s utility is not just in its direct contributions to the US defense industrial base in the form of machines and parts sold, but also, in terms of its significance as a case study for how the US government can incorporate small and medium enterprises (SMEs) from all over the world into its supply chains. That is going to be of paramount importance to the reshoring of US manufacturing over the next decade, as this likely won’t be done without an unprecedented amount of help from partner nations. In turn, I would be surprised if AML3D doesn’t end up working with other US government agencies, and I also wouldn’t be surprised if more organizations like BlueForge start popping up in the near future.
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