Oerlikon, headquartered in Pfäffikon, Schwyz, Switzerland, has announced that it has signed an agreement to acquire Germany’s citim GmbH, a service provider specialising in the design and production of metal AM components. Oerlikon also announced that it will be building a new $50 million state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Plymouth Township, Michigan, USA, dedicated to producing advanced materials for AM and surface coatings.
citim’s core expertise lies in metal Additive Manufacturing for small-series production and functional prototypes. The company operates production sites in Europe and in USA, serving high-tech industries such as aviation, automotive and energy. In 2015, citim generated CHF 12 million (US $11.8 million) in sales and has around 120 employees. Both parties agreed not to disclose the financial details of the transaction.
“The competencies and team from citim will serve to consolidate our position in the Additive Manufacturing business, marking the acquisition as an important move for us to drive the industrialisation of Additive Manufacturing and to become an independent service provider for the production of additively manufactured components,” stated Dr Roland Fischer, Oerlikon’s CEO.
Oerlikon stated that it expects the demand for advanced materials for AM to increase rapidly in the coming years, making it one of the key growth areas in metal-based Additive Manufacturing. The new Michigan facility will produce the latest materials, such as advanced titanium alloys for the AM market and certain high-end thermal spray powders. The site will be fully equipped with next-generation VIGA technology, which combines vacuum induction melting with inert gas atomisation systems.
In addition, the facility will house a state-of-the-art research and development lab for further developments of titanium and other alloys (e.g. nickel, copper, iron and cobalt) for joint R&D projects with customers and will have the ability to produce customised powders in small batches. The facility is expected to be operational by the end of 2017.