Siemens Increases Attention on US 3D Printing Landscape

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Global industrial giant Siemens has announced that the company is taking steps to help bolster the US additive manufacturing (AM) industry. The efforts will surround Siemens’ Charlotte Advanced Technology Collaboration Hub (CATCH) in Charlotte, North Carolina, which the company opened in early 2022.

Siemens will add new AM ecosystems to CATCH, including Desktop Metal’s Production System for metal binder jetting (MBJ), and the Meltio Engine for robotic arm-based, hybrid directed energy deposition (DED) AM. The latter is integrated with the Siemens SINUMERIK RunMyRobot control system.

Additionally, Siemens will create an AM Advisory Board “to provide the company guidance” concerning the specific needs of the US AM industry. The board will be composed of “renowned industry leaders…drawn from various industries and technical disciplines.”

Barbara Humpton our US CEO and Dr. Alma Adams (NC-12) congresswomen

In a press release about the news, head of Siemens AM in the US Steve Vosmik said, “We are on the threshold of a new frontier in American industry, where the implementation of [AM] will bring fundamental changes to the landscape, end-to-end, from product to machine to manufacturing. Siemens is very excited to be at the forefront of this process.”

Siemens’ VP of Motion Control, Rajas Sukthankar, said, “More than 100 machine builders from around the world are implementing Siemens automation solutions to industrialize their machines. Now it’s time to support even more customers and accelerate their transformation from single machines to series [AM] factories. North America is heading in this direction.”

Along with the CATCH site, Siemens also announced, in early 2023, that the company would be investing $220 million into a North Carolina facility dedicated to advanced manufacturing for the rail industry. Interestingly, at the same time as Siemens announced its plan to ramp up its activity in the US, the company also announced it was stopping delivery of some of its new high-speed trains to Deutsche Bahn because of defects in some of the components.

It’s not clear if the US rail hub is in a position yet to step in, but given the extent to which Deutsche Bahn leverages AM, the idea isn’t an unreasonable one. (In any case, it is nice to see that, unlike in the commercial aerospace industry, deliveries of defective rail parts are being halted before those parts get installed in transportation systems.)

This announcement comes at exactly the right time for the US AM industry, the reports of whose death seem to have been greatly exaggerated. As a major AM stakeholder globally, it can’t have been lost on the company that news of this sort would provide some measure of reassurance to the US side of the industry.

Going forward, pay close attention to who Siemens selects to be part of its AM Advisory Board. The company is not the type to take such a step unless it’s certain it’s picking winners.

Images courtesy of Siemens

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