Jun 15, 2017 | By David

We’ve reported before on the progress of LPW Technology Ltd, a UK-based company which is gradually asserting itself as one of the global 3D printing industry’s biggest names in the field of metal powders and metal quality control solutions. A £20m investment was announced towards the end of 2016, and the company also secured a strategic investment from 3D printing specialist Stratasys Ltd. in April of this year. Now another promising alliance has been established, as Japanese firm Taiyo Nippon Sanso Corporation (TNSC) has committed to supplying the market with a new range of metal powders from LPW.

TNSC is one of the world’s largest suppliers of industrial, specialty and industrial gases, and it has a dedicated 3D printing technical team at its gas application R&D laboratory in Yamanashi, Japan. The company will use its sales and distribution channels to supply some of LPW’s most cutting-edge products. To start, LPW products will be available through TNSC's hubs in Singapore and China as well as a subsidiary in the U.S. A similar deal was set up by TNSC last year, with 3D printing systems specialist Optomec. The Optomec Lens 3D printer is now sold by the company as part of total additive manufacturing solution, which also includes gases, powder feed stock, and metal heat treatment techniques.

A statement from TNSC outlined the key motivations behind this significant international 3D printing partnership: "Metal welding solutions are considered by many as the basic building blocks of today’s 3D metal printing technologies. TNSC will leverage its industry expertise in welding processes, metal heat treatment and controlled gas atmospheres to help lower costs, streamline production and eliminate defects for metal AM customers globally."

This deal with LPW is a timely one, as the popularity of metal 3D printing as a manufacturing solution is growing rapidly. The demand for AM metal powders is expected to grow by around 60 percent this year, and LPW has been investing in new manufacturing facilities accordingly. The company is now capable of producing up to 1,000 tonnes of metal powder each year, and TNSC will be able to leverage this output for serious sales figures in a booming market.

According to Dermot Desmond, Asia Pacific Sales Manager for LPW Technology, “This alliance with TNSC is truly ground-breaking for the industry and will lead to further understanding of the total AM process and ultimately the development of more robust processes and novel alloys.” Back on home soil, the company, which was founded by CEO Phil Caroll in 2007 and last year received the Award for Enterprise from Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, is hoping to create 120 new jobs by 2018. LPW has gained a substantial reputation for advancing research in the metal 3D printing field, with a major study carried out on the effects of gaseous corruption on 3D printed metal parts released last year. Its clients can also make use of the innovative LPW PowderLife system, which allows businesses to trace material history of metal powder products and make sure they remain compliant with various specifications and production requirements.

 

 

Posted in 3D Printing Materials

 

 

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