Siemens announced that it will invest £27 million in what is poised to become the biggest 3D printing factory in the United Kingdom (UK). The German industrial giant will invest in the factory through Materials Solutions Ltd. – a company in which Siemens acquired a majority stake (85 percent) in the year 2016.
Materials Solutions specialises in additive manufacturing and offers additive manufacturing services to numerous industries ranging from automotive, aviation, and motorsports. Founded in 2006, the company is a pioneer in the use of Selective Laser Melting (SLM) technology and uses it to manufacture high-performance metal parts, with a focus on high-temperature super alloys.
The decision to invest in the factory comes as Siemens’ plan to make the most out of the potential of 3D printing technology. Siemens aims to make the factory a “global centre of excellence” that will employ world-class engineers, metallurgists and manufacturing specialists. Located in Worcester Six Business Park Development, the new factory will replace an older factory located in the same area.
Offering details about the investment, Juergen Maier, CEO, Siemens, UK said, “This significant investment underlines our belief that there is huge potential for innovation and growth within the Additive Manufacturing sector.
“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 for the fourth industrial revolution.”
Siemens’ investment will also give a boost to the company’s existing fleet of 3D printing machines. With the investment, the company will increase its fleet of 3D printing machines threefold from the existing 15 to 50 over the next five years.
Providing information on how the new factory will help Materials Solutions innovate and meet the existing demand for AM services, Phil Hatherley General Manager of Materials Solutions, said: “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. 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.”
“We were incredibly proud to have achieved a world first last year – the production of a successfully tested 3D printed gas turbine blade – and 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,” added Hatherely.
The company’s decision to invest in the new factory also received accolades from Business Secretary, Greg Clark. Taking the opportunity to showcase Britain’s proud manufacturing heritage, Greg Clark, Business Secretary stated, “Britain has a proud manufacturing heritage and through our Industrial Strategy the Government has set out a vision and plan that will build on this strength and create an environment that enables manufacturers to continue to thrive.
“The investment being made by Siemens into UK advanced manufacturing demonstrates the confidence businesses have in the strategy,” Clark concluded.