GKN Powder Metallurgy, the global engineering and metal powder manufacturing arm of British multinational GKN plc, has this week announced two significant metal 3D printing partnerships, one with leading German machines manufacturer EOS, and the other with Nordic logistics provider PostNord AB.
Both partnerships are designed to extend company’s reach within the additive manufacturing industry as Peter Oberparleiter, CEO of GKN Powder Metallurgy, explains:
“We’re thinking differently about what’s possible in manufacturing; metal 3D printing and rapid prototyping have become a formidable part of our business.”
Expedited metal processing drives toward automotive
GKN’s collaboration with EOS is part of an existing agreement between the two companies which first came to light in 2017. Speaking at the time of this announcement Dr. Hans J. Langer, founder of EOS, called the collaboration “another important step towards integrating industrial 3D printing into existing and future production lines and to leverage the benefits of AM technology for series production.”
Since then, the partnership has grown into “a new, high-productivity process for laser metal 3D printing.” It leverages EOS’s expertise to process GKN powder, EOS StainlessSteel 316L VPro, at a rate that reduces production time by 70% and overall cost by up to 50%.
According to EOS CEO Dr. Adrian Keppler, these processing speeds are driving the company toward larger impact in the automotive industry. Dr. Keppler adds, “We were looking for a strong partner with a high level of expertise in the field of steels and typical industry grade materials combined with a proven track record of further industrializing technologies together with customer applications. We found a perfect partner in GKN Powder Metallurgy.”
Improving the supply chain
GKN Powder Metallurgy’s second partnership this week, with PostNord AM, is seen by Oberparleiter as “an opportunity to improve the manufacturing supply chain, particularly in the Nordic region.”
Ylva Ekborn, CEO PostNord Strålfors Group, comments, “Metal 3D printing offers tangible benefits to manufacturers who implement the technology, with significant bottom-line benefits,”
“This collaboration [with GKN Powder Metallurgy] only scratches the surface of what’s possible as manufacturers explore new ways to capitalize on advancements in technology and new logistics strategies to gain a competitive edge,”
“Furthermore, this shows PostNord can be a supplier of 3D production in a wide range of materials, from plastic to metal, throughout the Nordic region.”
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Featured image shows laser powder bed fusion (LPBF) at EOS. Photo via EOS