Voestalpine AG, Linz, Austria, has expanded its metal Additive Manufacturing (3D Printing) activities into Asia and North America. The company has reportedly invested a total of €50 million into the opening of a new metal AM research centre in Singapore, the construction of a new AM technology institute in Taiwan and a production plant in Canada.
This expansion follows the successful launch of the group’s Additive Manufacturing Centre in Düsseldorf, Germany, in September 2016. While the Düsseldorf team specialises in the Additive Manufacturing of small, lightweight, finely-structured parts and tools, Voestalpine’s Additive Manufacturing Centre Singapore is focused on the manufacture and repair of objects weighing up to 600 kg.
“In line with our global service strategy, we are successively establishing metal Additive Manufacturing services close to our customers. The focus is on applying different Additive Manufacturing processes to best meet their individual requirements,” stated Franz Rotter, Member of the Voestalpine AG Management Board and Head of the High Performance Metals Division.
Voestalpine’s Taiwan-based Technology Institute Asia, set to open in August 2017, will be the group’s third research centre for metal AM. Meanwhile, construction is underway on the group’s first NAFTA-based production plant for high-tech Additive Manufacturing in Toronto, Canada.
To keep up with the increasing demand for high-quality metal powders for AM, Voestalpine is also investing and expanding capacity at its subsidiaries Böhler Edelstahl GmbH & Co KG, Austria, and Uddeholms AB, Sweden.
Following the installation of state-of-the-art atomisation lines for powder production at the two sites in 2016, a total of €20 million is currently being invested in similar systems. Voestalpine reported that it is currently developing new high-strength, corrosion-resistant powder types for increasingly sophisticated applications.
“Voestalpine, with its comprehensive knowledge in manufacturing metal powder and in the design, development, and production of ready-to-install components, is a global pioneer in 3D printing,” stated Wolfgang Eder, Voestalpine CEO. “We want to consistently push ahead with our activities in this area by setting up new research and development centres in non-European growth markets.”