Oerlikon, a Swiss multinational technology company, can trace its origins all the way back to the 1850s, when the first components of the firm were being founded. These early elements included Leybold Vacuum in Cologne and the F. Saurer-Stoffel foundry in Switzerland. Today, OC Oerlikon Corporation AG (SIX: OERL) is a materials processing firm with a market capitalization of $3.3 billion and employs more than 12,000 people in locations worldwide. Additive manufacturing (AM), which it has built up experience in via the use of a broad array of technologies, such as Nanoparticle Jetting from XJet, and applications, such as serial satellite production, is a crucial component of the company’s ongoing strategy.
Oerlikon AM’s North Carolina factory has just installed its fourth DMP Factory 500 machine from 3D Systems, which is used for laser powder bed fusion (LPBF), which is one of the processes. The two companies have formed a partnership with the goal of using their respective expertise in surface engineering and AM to the field of 3D printing for production in areas such as semiconductors and aerospace. Oerlikon will be in a better position to serve customers in the United States market with 3D printed aluminium components if it opens a location in North America.
The most recent machine was the product of a joint effort by the Application Innovation Group (AIG) of 3D Systems and the Application Engineering department of Oerlikon AM. The partners intend to work together to provide Oerlikon’s clients with a production method that has been proven and accredited. The system includes a vacuum chamber that maintains a low oxygen level and three lasers that can produce components with dimensions of up to 500 millimetres on a side, 500 millimetres on a length, and 500 millimetres on a height.
Oerlikon Expands AM Footprint
According to observations made by 3DPrint.com Macro Analyst Matt Kremenetsky, the problem of supply chain resilience has become so ingrained in AM’s value proposition that it is no longer necessary to bring it up in direct discourse. At this very moment, attempts are being undertaken all over the world to re-shore production to cut down on the energy costs associated with shipping and to keep supply chain interruptions to a minimum.
However, this latest reorganisation of the supply chain is not wholly nationalist in nature. Instead, it entails global corporations strengthening their operations worldwide by utilising digital production techniques such as additive manufacturing (AM), robots, and artificial intelligence (AI). It is possible that Oerlikon may keep its headquarters in Switzerland; however, the plant in North Carolina will be responsible for providing supply chain insurance throughout North America.
In the meantime, 3D Systems is expanding its worldwide machine sales to the point that it can now localise digital manufacturing in countries such as Saudi Arabia. Oerlikon is likely going to increase the footprint of its 3D printing operations at its location in Michigan, which is located in the Midwestern region that is home to other AM businesses like Materialise.
About Oerlikon: Surface Solutions (materials and surface solutions) and Polymer Processing Solutions (production technologies for synthetic fibres and polycondensation systems) are the two divisions that make up the Oerlikon Group. Their high-tech applications are aimed at expanding industries like the automotive sector, the aerospace sector, the energy sector, the tooling sector, and the additive manufacturing (3D printing) market. Each Business Unit sells its wares under a distinct brand name and develops methods tailored to the specific demands of its target market.
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