HP & INDO-MIM Collaborate to Boost Metal 3D Printing in India

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HP Inc. and INDO-MIM, a US- and India-based supplier of metal injection molding (MIM) powders and contract manufacturer, have announced that the two companies will collaborate to accelerate additive manufacturing (AM) of end-use metal parts in India. Across its India and Texas operations, INDO-MIM claims to have the world’s largest installed capacity for MIM production.

HP and INDO-MIM first announced a strategic partnership ahead of Formnext 2023, as part of a flurry of announcements surrounding HP’s Metal Jet S100 metal binder jetting (MBJ) system. The update on the company’s joint activities, announced at a press briefing in Bengaluru, revealed that INDO-MIM has purchased three Metal Jet S100 machines so far, with two of them operational at INDO-MIM’s Bengaluru facility, and the third installed at INDO-MIM’s Texas site.

According to INDO-MIM, one of the printers in Bengaluru will be used for material development, while the other will be used to explore applications for customers in the Asia-Pacific region, especially in India and the Middle East. The company didn’t specify what the Texas machine will be used for, but having it on the ground in the US would certainly enable INDO-MIM to explore the Metal Jet S100’s potential for distributed manufacturing.

Image courtesy of INDO-MIM

At the media briefing announcing further details of the HP and INDO-MIM metal AM partnership, INDO-MIM’s CEO, Krishna Chivukula Jr., said, “The Binder Jet 3D printing process is an incredible solution that needs problems to solve. In the last 30 or 40 years the defense industry has imported a lot of military equipment. Given the current geopolitical situation, INDO-MIM can make spare parts and help the country reduce imports and enhance national security and readiness. …The acquisition of HP’s Metal Jet S100 printers equips us with the latest technology, enabling us to meet the growing demands of our customers with efficiency and precision, as well as expand the library of materials qualified on the HP printer platform.”

Image courtesy of HP

The two companies also noted that, in particular, two potential clients that they’ll be targeting are India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).

Beyond the AM division, HP Inc. has been quite vocal about its support for Prime Minister Modi’s Make in India initiative, including a joint announcement with Google in October, 2023, regarding a partnership to manufacture Chromebooks in India. As I explained last year in an interview I did with HP’s Global Head of Metals, Personalization & 3D Printing, Ramon Pastor, HP’s acceleration of its 3D printing activities in India could be a huge boost to its overall operations: “…we can easily imagine HP drawing upon [the advantages of its MBJ system] for use in its own massive supply chains. An especially important corporate strategic initiative for the company in recent years has been its pledge to manufacture higher proportions of the HP products in India that are sold in India. HP was the leader in the Indian PC market in 2022.”

Thus, initially, the most important customer in India for HP and INDO-MIM may be HP, itself. The company’s reshaping of the geography of its own supply chains means HP will continue to be among the most intriguing organizations to watch in the AM industry over the next few years.

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