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AMS Spotlight: Lincoln Electric Additive Solutions

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Who has the largest metal 3D printing capacity in North America? Lincoln Electric, at least according to the company itself. This may come as a surprise, with the most expected answers likely being pure play additive manufacturing (AM) original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), or else the more familiar legacy names that have dipped their toes in the metal AM market.

On the other hand, there is extensive overlap between conventional welding techniques and wire arc AM (WAAM), the technique Lincoln Electric Additive Solutions specializes in. This, combined with the fact that Lincoln Electric is one of the largest suppliers of welding equipment in the world, means the company’s singularly large metal AM capacity is perhaps to be expected.

Even if the company’s metal AM capacity is just one of the largest in North America, and not “the” largest, it’s safe to say that there aren’t many companies out there that can do what Lincoln Electric Additive Solutions does. A particularly striking example of that occurred in the spring of 2022, involving a successful execution of just-in-case manufacturing that Lincoln helped deliver for one of Chevron’s US refineries.

Lincoln, along with the additive engineering team at Chevron and Stress Engineering Services of Houston, printed eight replacement parts from nickel alloy wire in the span of a month. If this sounds impressive, though not exactly groundbreaking, keep in mind that the combined weight of the parts was over 4,000 pounds.

Thanks to Lincoln Electric and WAAM, the Chevron refinery was able to get back online according to schedule. With its rare potential to help giant organizations source mission critical, end-use metal parts right now, it makes perfect sense that the Department of Defense’s (DoD’s) interest in WAAM and other directed energy deposition (DED) technologies has been rapidly rising over the last couple of years.

Attendees of Additive Manufacturing Strategies (AMS) in New York City (February 6-8, 2024) can hear Mark Douglass, the Business Development Manager at Lincoln Electric Additive Solutions, give the Session Keynote for Large Format AM and Construction (February 6, 1:15 PM), on the topic, “Latest in Codes and Standards for Wire DED.”

Given how quickly the landscape is changing for this area of metal AM, keeping up with the evolving standards related to the underlying technologies is especially crucial regarding this market segment, for anyone hoping to get in on its massive growth potential. AMS is the best forum available for learning the business angle to standardization, from the industry insiders who live in that world on a daily basis.

Images courtesy of Lincoln Electric

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