French aerospace company Thales, Paris, has opened a new Additive Manufacturing facility in Casablanca, Morocco. The ‘Industrial Competence Centre’ will specialise in metal AM and currently houses two Selective Laser Melting (SLM) systems. The company reports that it will use these machines to produce an initial series of metal AM parts in aluminium and titanium, widely used in the aerospace sector. In the medium-term, Thales is planning to acquire ten machines.
The opening of the centre forms part of the Kingdom of Morocco’s Industrial Acceleration Plan 2014 to 2020, which supports the development of an innovative ecosystem involving Thales and its local suppliers. Spread across an area of 1000m², in the Midparc zone in Casablanca, the facility is expected to employ around twenty engineers and technicians in the future.
Thales has a long-standing partnership with Morocco. The company opened its local office in Rabat in 2006 and is active in Morocco in defence, aerospace, transportation and security, and has forty-five employees in the country. “With an existing aerospace ecosystem of subcontractors, Morocco has everything needed to become Thales’ global centre of expertise in Additive Manufacturing,” stated Pierre Prigent, Thales Country Director in Morocco. “The use of a secure digital platform provides the industrial Competence Centre with the latest innovations in terms of connected industry and smart plants, and will improve the competitiveness of the solutions offered to our customers.”
Moulay Hafid Elalamy, Morocco’s Minister of Industry, Investment, Commercial and Digital Economy, added, “Thales is bringing state-of-the-art technology and a high added value profession to Morocco: it is a genuine source of pride for us to deliver this leap forward to the country’s industrial sector. This new project is proof that the Moroccan economy is achieving a diametric shift in its industrial sector, which is driving the creation of highly specialised jobs in the country.”