Aerospace and defense company Moog Inc., not to be confused with Moog Music, has decided to expand its focus from traditional manufacturing of military and industrial control systems to 3D printing, acquiring a majority stake in Michigan company Linear Mold and Engineering. Though the exact terms of the deal were not disclosed, it has been made public that Moog has purchased a 70% stake in the 120-person firm, with an option to buy the remaining 30%, as well.
Linear Mold and Engineering, as Davide reported last year, is one of the largest metal 3D printing service providers in North America. With a 57,000-square-foot facility in Livonia, Michigan, Linear possesses some 18 metal printing machines, which range from DMLS systems from EOS to SLM systems from SLM Solutions, in addition to CNC and injection molding machines. The firm also reported $21 million in sales from September of last year to this year.
Sean Gartland, Moog’s vice president of strategic growth initiatives, said of the acquisition, “We see significant potential for metal additive solutions in our core markets – aerospace, defense and industrial applications – in addition to the markets and customers that Linear is already serving.”
As 3D printing plays a greater role in mainstream manufacturing, the decision is a reasonable one for Moog. GE and Rolls-Royce are just two other aerospace and defense companies that are using the technology to 3D print next generation jet engines and having access to the continent’s largest metal 3D printing bureau will allow Moog to remain competitive in the marketplace. When Robert Moog, the cousin of Moog Inc. founder Bill Moog, decides to begin 3D printing synthesizers, we’ll let you know.