Dimecc Ltd., an innovation platform for the manufacturing industry located in Helsinki, Finland, has launched an industrial ecosystem that it expects to increase the role of Additive Manufacturing in the country.
The Finnish Additive Manufacturing Ecosystem (FAME) will create an open experimental AM centre in Vaasa, Finland, at the Smart Technology Hub; offer modular Additive Manufacturing training in Lappeenranta, Finland; and aim to make Finland one of the world’s leading countries in AM utilisation, sales and knowledge. FAME involves more than twenty founding member companies and is open for companies of all types and sizes to join.
“FAME allows us to share our own facilities and equipment with companies of all sizes,” stated Kenneth Widell, Project Manager, responsible for developing Wärtsilä Finland Oy’s Smart Technology Hub partner operations.
“We open up people’s worlds of experience across company borders, openly share information on how printouts and related technical solutions work, and thus strengthen the competence centre built on our new technology centre, the Vaasa Smart Technology Hub,” he continued. “This can expand our business, provide better spare parts service to our customers and lead to product redesign, if necessary.”
In 2019, Etteplan carried out a study funded by Business Finland, which highlighted the slow awakening of Finnish companies to Additive Manufacturing, and the need for a neutral party to represent the private sector and facilitate the development of the industry.
Tero Hämeenaho, who is responsible for Etteplan’s Additive Manufacturing, commented, “Finland is currently underdeveloped in utilising 3D printing. However, we have a huge potential to reduce energy use and CO$^2$ emissions by leveraging 3D printing. The cooperation with the future winner of the HX project, a fighter manufacturer, may open up a huge export opportunity for Finnish companies related to this technology.”
Hämeenaho added, “DIMECC is an excellent platform to promote systemic change that individual actors would not be able to. The progress of 3D printing in Finland has so far been slowed down by the small size and fragmentation of the actors, but FAME gathers everyone to work towards common goals.”
The companies in the FAME ecosystem aim to reach 5% of the global AM market volume by 2030. Dimecc states that this will require significant changes in how Additive Manufacturing is viewed, as an opportunity and an alternative to current manufacturing methods. One of FAME’s key goals is said to be to influence education and the attitudes of graduating designers so that AM is considered an equal starting point in mechanical design alongside casting or machining.
Petri Räsänen, Development Manager of the Ministry of Employment and the Economy, commented, “This open and business-oriented ecosystem has clear interfaces with government policy goals and economic recovery. Cooperation between companies and research organizations develops and utilizes new technologies, on which investments, new types of business and new jobs are created. In the longer term, this will also contribute to the green economy and the large-scale industrial exploitation of digitalisation.”
The startup and operations of the ecosystem are financed by its member companies and Finland’s Ministry of Employment and the Economy. The founding members of FAME are expected to be finalised on November 16, 2020.