AP&C expands metal powder production capacity in Quebec

AP&C, the metal 3D printing powder production arm of GE Additive, is expanding its operations in Canada.

With the acquisition of almost 40,000 m² in land, the company is planning to extend its production capacity at the Saint-Eustache site where it has been active since 2016.

“Our firm is currently enjoying rapid growth and we need more space for our projects, along with a good location for drawing fresh talent,” comments Alain Dupont, CEO of AP&C.

“Innoparc Albatros meets both of these urgent needs. It is clear that AP&C’s future is right here in Québec and, in particular, Saint-Eustache.”

A hot bed of plasma atomization 

AP&C is one of the few companies in the world to use plasma atomization for the production of metal powders, all of which are harnessing Canada’s abundant supply of hydroelectricity. The nation is the 2nd largest producer of hydroelectricty in the world and Quebec in particular, the hotbed of plasma atomization, produces over 90% of electricity this way. As a energy-intensive process, it’s easy to see why plasma-based powder producers would congregate here.

The quality of material made using plasma atomization is especially suited to meet the requirements of additive manufacturing, though AP&C also produces powders for coatings, metal injection molding (MIM) and hot isostatic pressing (HIP). Nickel and titanium alloys are the speciality of AP&C. The company is currently working to bring an F357 aluminum powder to the market too.

Advanced Plasma Spheroidization Technology from AP&C. Image via GE Additive
Advanced Plasma Spheroidization Technology from AP&C. Image via GE Additive

More business for Montreal 

The new planned facility for AP&C’s 40,000 m² plot adds to an existing $31 million CAD factory in Saint-Eustache capable of processing around 1,250 tons of material per year.

In addition to its clear benefits for production, the new addition is expected to generate a significant amount of jobs and further professional interest in the region. Pierre Charron, Mayor of Saint-Eustache, comments, “We are extremely proud that AP&C, the flagship of its industry, has decided to multiply its activities in Innoparc Albatros, thereby making big contributions to Saint-Eustache’s economy,”

“Innovation breeds more innovation and we are confident that AP&C’s increased presence will bring new businesses to our techno-park and encourage other hi‑tech firms to come here.”

In partnership with the National Research Council of Canada (NRC), AP&C was also recently involved with the development of a method for accurate analysis of metal additive powders.

Inside AP&C's existing facility in Saint-Eustache. Photo by Michael Petch
Inside AP&C’s existing facility in Saint-Eustache. Photo by Michael Petch

3D Printing Industry recently visited the AP&C site to learn more about the process. Subscribe to our free 3D Printing Industry newsletter to make sure you don’t miss the article.

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Featured image shows AP&C HQ in Saint-Eustache, Montreal. Photo by Michael Petch