Hittech Group, a Netherlands-based manufacturer of advanced machinery, and 3T Additive Manufacturing, a UK-based engineering firm specializing in additive manufacturing (AM), have announced that the two companies will form a joint venture to bring their combined expertise to markets relevant to AM, especially the semiconductor sector. Expected to be formed sometime in the next year, Hittech and 3T will headquarter the venture in either the Netherlands or Germany.
3T is part of the BEAMIT Group, an Italian engineering services provider that counts Swedish engineering giant Sandvik as one of its major shareholders. Although the semiconductor industry is not the sole focus of the partnership, it seems likely that at least part of the logic behind the decision to form the new venture is passage of the European Chips Act (ECA) in September 2023, which involves over €43 billion (around $46 billion) in public and private investments.
Decarbonization will of course need to be rapidly embedded into the organizational structure of every sector over the next decade. But there are two areas of the global economy, in particular, that will need to implement that mentality more quickly than all the others, in order for the overall transition towards net-zero to have any chance of success.
Those areas are all the sectors involved in the extraction and supply of energy in all its forms, and the semiconductor sector. Because these two areas are both so integral to one another, as well as to the rest of the global economy — and are also responsible for such a high proportion of global carbon emissions — the long shot that is net-zero will be genuinely impossible unless the supply chains for both energy and semiconductors take the lead in decarbonizing.
Although AM’s status as a still relatively unproven set of technologies means no one knows the answer to this for sure, there is certainly much evidence and common sense suggesting that if the global economy goes all in on AM, it could make a major impact on decarbonization goals. Much of that depends on how intent the personnel in the AM sector are on actualizing that potential, so it’s nice to see companies like Hittech and 3T taking specific action towards that end.
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