Linear Mold & Engineering, Livonia, Michigan, USA, is expanding its production facility and adding a range of new machinery including four new Additive Manufacturing systems. The company is a manufacturer of precision injection moulds, moulded parts and 3D metal printing of production parts for a number of OEMs and Tier 1 suppliers in the automotive, aerospace and medical markets.
Linear is adding two M290 3D metal printing machines from EOS and two dual laser SLM machines from SLM Solutions. The company currently operates 14 Additive Manufacturing machines, most of which are dedicated to production parts.
“Our sales will be increasing next year by quite a bit,” stated John Tenbusch, President of Linear. “Our production business in the 3D metal process will exceed our moldmaking business sometime next month and this is only the beginning. We have a number of customers that are serious about using 3D metal printed parts for production.”
In addition to building production parts using Additive Manufacturing, Linear’s conformal cooling business, which also uses the Additive Manufacturing technology, is also experiencing increased demand. “Some of the SLM machines will be dedicated to conformal cooling technology,” Tenbusch added, noting that as conformal cooling gains greater acceptance among OEMs, particularly those in the automotive industry, demand increases.
“The conformal cooling work is starting to pick up as customers take a serious look at this technology,” Tenbusch said. “First they have to have acceptance of what it can do and for that they run their own tests and trials on the technology. However, a number of them have moved past the trial stage now and are looking for applications that are a perfect fit.”
To accommodate the machinery additions, Linear is currently undergoing a 1500 m2 expansion. The company currently operates out of four buildings, including its North American headquarters which contains the 3D metal printing and CNC machining divisions, a moulding facility, manufacturing facility and a warehouse.
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