Mar 19, 2018 | By Tess

German automation and engineering company Siemens has created some buzz in the UK this morning with the announcement that it will be opening a £27 million ($37.6M) additive manufacturing facility in the West Midlands city of Worcester. The 3D printing factory is expected to create 50 skilled jobs in the region.

Set to become one of the largest 3D printing facilities in Europe when it opens, Siemens’ new UK location will host a number of state-of-the-art metal 3D printing systems and more. The German company has suggested that the AM facility will produce metal components for local clients such as Rolls-Royce and British Aerospace.

The choice to open the facility in the West Midlands is no coincidence, as Siemens holds a significant stake (85 percent, to be exact) in Worcester-based company Materials Solutions Ltd., which specializes in additive manufacturing and specifically selective laser melting (SLM). The new facility will ultimately enable Materials Solutions to significantly ramp up its own 3D printing services and production.

Presently, the Siemens-controlled company operates 15 metal 3D printers. Over the course of the next five years (and thanks to Siemens’ £27 million investment) the number of machines in operation is expected to increase to 50.

“This significant investment underlines our belief that there is huge potential for innovation and growth within the additive manufacturing sector,” said Juergen Maier, Siemens’ UK chief executive. “It is also the next step towards achieving our ambition of pioneering the industrialisation of 3D printing and demonstrates how we are leading the way in the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

“If the UK’s manufacturing sector is to grow and thrive, we must embrace digital technologies and build new industries based on them. Our vision and ambition for Materials Solutions perfectly represents how we are putting this strategy into practice.”

Siemens' £27M 3D printing factory is to be located in Worcester, England

To be located at the Worcester Six Business Park, the new 3D printing facility is also expected to create over 50 new skilled jobs in the region for engineers, metallurgists, manufacturing experts, and others.

“Our Worcester-based team are specialists in using additive manufacturing technology to solve complex engineering challenges for our customers across a range of sectors including aerospace, automotive and power generation,” commented Phil Hatherley, General Manager of Materials Solutions. “Our new facility will give us the space and scope to continue to innovate for these specialist and demanding industries and achieve a shift in the perception of 3D printing from being a technology associated with prototyping to a viable option for the serial production of additively-manufactured parts.”

The company, which last year successfully 3D printed metal gas turbine blades for Siemens, hopes that the new facility and investment from Siemens will enable it to make even greater achievements in the additive manufacturing field.

Hatherley added: “I believe our new factory will facilitate similar achievements for our customers operating in other highly demanding environments, allowing us to maintain our position at the leading edge of this incredibly exciting industry.”

The Worcester-based 3D printing factory is expected to open in September 2018.

 

 

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S.Meredith wrote at 3/25/2018 9:40:54 AM:

This technology has been around for some years the main issue is that the component is sintered which means that its molecular structure is brittle, how this has been solved in the past is to place the component in an oven and heat treat it, most aircraft companies have been nervous of using this product, due to engine tests, new engines that are being tested will have this technology, old ones will not due to the cost. if this process becomes more widespread and can cope with a larger size product base, will mean the demise of machining facilities.



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