Sep 14, 2016 | By Tess

The voestalpine Group, a multinational speciality steel producer based in Austria, has just announced an exciting expansion of its services and products through the opening of a new research and development center for metal 3D printing. The new center, which will be dedicated to the additive manufacturing of complex metal parts for the automotive, aerospace, medical, and tool manufacturing sectors, is located in Düsseldorf, Germany, one of the main locations for voestalpine’s Special Steel Division.

The Austrian steel producer seems well equipped for a metal 3D printing R&D center, especially as the group plans to bring together its subsidiary companies to make the process of turning raw metal into complex parts as seamless as possible. That is, the subsidiaries, Böhler Edelstahl GmbH & Co KG, Austria, and Uddeholms AB, Sweden, will eventually take on the task of manufacturing fine metal powders used for 3D printing and supplying them to the recently opened research and development center. Voestalpine has also established itself as arguably the most “research-intensive” company within Austria, with a record research budget of 150 million for the 2016/17 business year—up a whopping 13% from the previous year.

As Wolfgang Eder, Chairman of the Management Board of voestalpine AG, explains, the opening of the new additive manufacturing center marks a big step for the Austrian company as it cements the company’s transformation from a traditional steel manufacturer into a global leading technology and capital goods group. Additionally, with the launch of the new center, voetstalpine expects to make more strategic partnerships across the world, namely in North America and China.

“The new development and test center will continue to research and develop both metal powders and the design and production of metal components using 3D printing,” explained Franz Rotter, a member of the Management Board of voestalpine AG and Head of the Special Steel Division. “It therefore represents a significant expansion to our existing material production and processing value chain for the most sophisticated industries.”

Left to Right: Thomas Geisel (Mayor Düsseldorf), Angelika Mielke-Westerlage (Mayor Meerbusch), Franz Rotter (Managing Director Special Steel Division), Wolfgang Eder (voestalpine CEO) at the center's opening

The new Additive Manufacturing Center GmbH is part of voestalpine’s Special Steel Division’s effort to both capitalize on and further advance the emerging field of metal 3D printing. The advantages of 3D printing metal parts are two-fold in comparison to traditional subtractive manufacturing methods, as it offers a more time, cost, and materially efficient way of creating parts. Additionally, by building up parts layer by layer based on a digital model, companies are much more capable of creating specialized and complexly structured metal parts.

Of course, the technology is still in its early stages and has not been widely applied yet, but with companies such as voestalpine investing in the technology and its advancement, there is promise that metal additive manufacturing could revolutionize a number of industries.

voestalpine Group currently has a presence in 50 countries around the world and employs roughly 48,500 people worldwide.

 

 

Posted in 3D Printer Company

 

 

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