EFESTO, of Superior Township, Michigan, USA, and RPM Innovations Inc, based in Rapid City, South Dakota, USA, have announced a long term global strategic partnership to offer a comprehensive range of professional grade, production proven Laser Metal Deposition (LMD) equipment and services for metal Additive Manufacturing (AM).
Both companies specialise in metal Additive Manufacturing/3D Printing technology and applications. The partnership will bring immediate benefit to potential and existing users of metal AM by making available a comprehensive line of LMD machines and contract services, supported by more than 50,000 hours of expertise in advanced LMD applications.
RPM Innovations, Inc. is a leading Laser Metal Deposition services provider in North America, specialising in freeform fabrication, hybrid manufacturing and repair applications for the aerospace, defence, oil and gas, power, mining and heavy industries. The company has successfully manufactured some of the industry’s largest metal 3D Printed components using titanium and nickel superalloys in their own RPMI 557 laser systems.
“We met hundreds of potential and existing industrial users, and identified a large global opportunity to satisfy a glaring unmet need – the significant gap between demand and availability of truly industrial grade LMD systems and the practical experience required to ensure good results and economic viability,” stated Ashok Varma, CEO of EFESTO.
“Most currently installed systems are in laboratories or light industrial applications, many idle or under-utilised, with few suppliers and users having the practical experience to optimally utilise this technology and reduce ‘time to value’. Metal 3D printing grew 75% in 2013 over 2012, twice the growth of overall 3D printing. We believe this trend will accelerate, further expanding the gap between supply and demand,” added Varma.
Robert Mudge, CEO of RPM Innovations and RPM & Associates, stated, “We originally purchased our first LMD machine from an outside manufacturer in 2004. By 2007 we realised this system was not large enough or robust enough for our growing operations. We began investigating existing laser system integrators that could build us a larger premium system so we could meet our customer needs. We were not able to find a suitable solution so we decided to design and build our own laser deposition system (RPMI557), which we commissioned in 2009. To date, we have added a total of three additional RPMI 557 systems as we continue to serve our customers in the defence, aerospace, energy, mining and heavy industries. Typically, we deposit more than 15,000 pounds of titanium, stainless steel, cobalt and nickel based superalloys annually, and are experiencing exceptional growth in our core LMD services business.”
EFESTO and RPMI have partnered to commercialise RPMI’s 557 system for third party use, as well as a full range of smaller systems to address less demanding requirements. All systems retain the core design principles of the industrially hardened 557 platform. The two companies will continue to serve their existing respective markets and customers, and jointly provide application expertise and customer support worldwide.
Collectively, this partnership creates the leading specialised entity for revenues in metal 3D Printing with Laser Metal Deposition, deploying more than 40 dedicated engineering, applications and business development specialists operating in the Americas, Europe and Asia, and a rapidly growing sales pipeline already in excess of $ 50 million.
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