Feb 7, 2017 | By Tess

It seems as though North Carolina is preparing to become a 3D printing hub in the near future. Last month, 3D printed prosthetics manufacturer UNYQ announced it would be opening a new office in Charlotte, NC and now Swiss company Oerlikon has announced it will be expanding its global additive manufacturing business by opening a new R&D and production facility for advanced 3D printed parts in the Charlotte metro area. The new facility will offer its clients integrated, end-to-end services for advanced additive manufacturing.

Oerlikon, a globally recognized technology group, said it will be investing roughly CHF55 million (about $55 million USD) into its new facility over the next two years. The new 3D printing center is also expected to create more than 100 new jobs in the future. The company says additive manufacturing has been identified as a potential growth area, and is primed to leverage “its strong materials heritage, service reputation, access to markets”, and more.

With its new 3D printing R&D and production facility, Oerlikon is aiming to further establish itself as a global leader in surface solutions and advanced materials. The expansion of the company’s global additive manufacturing business can be owed to the simultaneously growing demand for advanced 3D printed metal parts in various industries. As we are well aware, 3D printing offers manufacturers a number of advantages over traditional manufacturing processes, such as customization, and efficiency in terms of materials, lead time, and cost.

Dr. Roland Fischer, CEO of the Oerlikon Group, commented: “Innovation is a strategic driver of growth at Oerlikon. We consistently work at strengthening our innovation power and staying at the forefront in developing new technologies in our fields. As we strategically transform to become a powerhouse in surface solutions and advanced materials, we are investing in high growth potential businesses such as additive manufacturing.”

Charlotte, NC

Oerlikon’s announcement for a new facility comes only months after the Swiss company acquired citim, a German additive manufacturing specialist. Now, it is hoping to advance and promote the adoption of industrial 3D printing technologies on a larger scale. Specifically, it is seeking to offer its own AM technologies, such as the atomization of metal powders, additive manufacturing, and the post-processing of 3D printed parts.

The new 3D printing R&D center will mark Oerlikon’s fourth AM network location. The other locations include former citim sites in Barleben, Germany, and Atlanta, Georgia, as well as an advanced metal powder production facility in Plymouth Township, Michigan. According to the company, its new facility will be officially opened in 2018, though it will still conduct its additive manufacturing business out of Charlotte from an interim facility.

“Charlotte is an important step in our plans to grow our additive manufacturing business and our investment in key technology areas. The investment underlines our intention to become a leading independent global partner in the industrialization of additive manufacturing. I would like to thank our economic development partners in North Carolina and the Charlotte region for their support in our investment,” added Fischer.



Posted in 3D Printer Company



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