In a noteworthy corporate development, SLM Solutions has undergone a significant transformation and is now officially known as Nikon SLM Solutions. This rebranding marks a new beginning for the company, and it has already made waves with a major sale of two cutting-edge NXG XII 600 Additive Manufacturing Systems to the leading aerospace supplier, GKN Aerospace. These developments signify a robust future for Nikon SLM Solutions, which is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Nikon (TYO: 7731).
Nikon entered the additive manufacturing (AM) arena with a strategic move – the acquisition of SLM Solutions for €622 million (approximately $675 million) in January 2023. This acquisition, initially announced in September 2022, bolsters Nikon’s expanding manufacturing ecosystem, which already includes companies like Hybrid Manufacturing Technologies Global, specializing in metal 3D printing, and Morf3D, an expert in AM and engineering for aerospace, space, and defense sectors. This acquisition underscores Nikon’s unwavering commitment to enhancing its technological capabilities.
Nikon SLM Solutions Strategic Entry into Additive Manufacturing
Earlier this month, on September 1, 2023, Nikon SLM Solutions officially replaced SLM Solutions following a restructuring initiated by Nikon, the primary shareholder. This transformation involved the transfer of minority shareholders’ shares to Nikon, resulting in a change of identity and the automatic delisting of shares from the Frankfurt Stock Exchange (FSE). This strategic move simplifies the company’s structure and streamlines its operations in one decisive action.
Sam O’Leary, CEO of the newly christened Nikon SLM Solutions, expressed his enthusiasm for the merger and subsequent name change. He stated, “We are pleased with the conclusion of the squeeze-out procedure, which will further help to save considerable listing costs and support the team in doing what they do best – pushing the boundaries of manufacturing. Our new name, Nikon SLM Solutions AG, enables us to benefit from the global brand presence of a technology powerhouse such as Nikon while also retaining our own rich legacy in the industry.”
A Strong Start with a High-Profile Sale
Capitalizing on its fresh identity as Nikon SLM Solutions, the company wasted no time in making a significant sale, signaling the establishment of robust business relationships. The sale of two NXG XII 600 Additive Manufacturing Systems to GKN Aerospace is a testament to the increasing demand for advanced manufacturing systems within the aerospace sector. This deal is expected to reinforce Nikon SLM Solutions’ position as a leading player in the AM space.
The NXG XII 600 machines are notable for their expansive printing area and come equipped with 12 lasers, aligning perfectly with GKN Aerospace’s ambitions for large-scale, highly productive manufacturing. One machine will utilize the nickel-chromium alloy Inconel 718 (In718), while the other will employ the titanium grade five alloy Ti64.
Martin Thordén, Vice President of Permanova, GKN Aerospace’s newly formed unit for material solutions, stated, “Partnering with Nikon SLM Solutions is a key milestone in our journey to create better, more sustainable aerospace products. This collaboration provides us access to the cutting-edge additive manufacturing capabilities we need to reach our net-zero goals.”
GKN Aerospace: A Seasoned Innovator in Aerospace
GKN Aerospace, headquartered in the UK, boasts 38 manufacturing facilities across 12 countries and supplies over 90% of global aircraft and engine manufacturers. With over two decades of experience, the company has been a pioneer in additive manufacturing, contributing to the development and production of various aerospace components using this technology. From turbine blades and fuel injectors to structural elements like brackets, GKN Aerospace specializes in crafting lightweight yet robust parts.
O’Leary believes the combined strengths of the two companies will “undoubtedly set new industry benchmarks.” He recently welcomed Nikon CEO Toshikazu Umatate, along with Nikon VP and now Chairman of the Nikon SLM Solutions Supervisory Board Hamid Zarringhalam and Nikon General Manager of Advanced Manufacturing Yuichi Shibazaki, to Nikon SLM Solutions’ headquarters in Lübeck.
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