LPW announces partnership with Barnes Group, metal powder deal with Additive Industries

More news aerospace and additive manufacturing news from this week’s Farnborough International Airshow with two announcements from LPW Technology.

LPW, headquartered in Cheshire UK, is a provider of metal powders for additive manufacturing and associated materials handling and consulting services. This latter element of the LPW business will receive a boost via a newly announced strategic partnership with The Barnes Group Advisors (TBGA).

John E Barnes founder of The Barnes Group Advisors.
John E Barnes founder of The Barnes Group Advisors.

Training and development for additive manufacturing

Founded by John E. Barnes, former Vice President of Advanced Manufacturing and Strategy at Arconic Titanium & Engineered Products, The Barnes Group Advisors will provide training, development and briefing services on topics related to AM metal powders. Barnes is a well known and respected member of the additive manufacturing industry who often delivers insightful and engaging presentations at leading 3D printing industry events.

“AM is only as viable as the material parts are made from and increasing the knowledge of these materials is another step forward to drive adoption and technology readiness,” said John Barnes, Founder and Managing Director, TBGA. “LPW puts considerable effort into providing technical information for use by the AM industry, so it is a natural fit for The Barnes Group Training. It’s a great match to utilize what LPW already knows with our reach and mission to educate and train AM engineers.”

Alison Wyrick Mendoza, Leader of Training & Services at The Barnes Group Advisors, added , “Adequate training increases employee productivity, team performance, and end product quality.”

 “Almost everyone who works in our industry understands by now that people are the most important asset. It’s necessary to address advanced knowledge of all the processes involved, including those processes associated with AM materials.”

Ben Ferrar, Chief Operating Officer, LPW Technology said, “We are naturally aligned with The Barnes Group’s approach to training. Advancing the knowledge-base within our industry of the importance of the metal powder within the AM process, results in increased build success and acceptance of metal AM in the production environment. The training programme will begin with topics on AM Materials 101, Powder Production Methods, Material Testing Methods, and Advanced Specification Writing.”

The Barnes Group Advisors stated objective is, “to help industrialize Additive Manufacturing.”

LPW Technology and Additive Industries collaboration

Education is one part of the long journey to industrialize 3D printing. Another element is ensuring that appropriate systems are in place to facilitate scaling of the technology. A second announcement from LPW at Farnborough addresses this specifically.

A new agreement between LPW and the Netherlands based Additive Industries will see the two companies work together on “integrated industrial additive manufacturing of metal parts for high-end applications like aerospace.”

Additive Industries at formnext. Photo by Michael Petch.
Additive Industries at formnext 2017. Photo by Michael Petch.

Additive Industries is the developer of the modular MetalFAB1 additive manufacturing system that was initially announced in 2015 during formnext. The company has a longstanding association with the aerospace sector with one of the first MetalFAB1 systems installed at an Airbus facility. In March Additive Industries announced the intention to open a UK development center for the METALFAB1.

Additive Industries METALFAB1 full build space mesh gird. Photo by Michael Petch.
Additive Industries METALFAB1 full build space mesh gird. Photo by Michael Petch.

The new agreement will see LPW provide powder management solutions to Additive Industries under a commercial agreement. “This allows Additive Industries customers to automatically load powder into the MetalFAB1 systems in inert conditions and record  the main characteristics of the metal powders during their lifecycle from metal powder manufacturing to part production. Especially in series production of qualified parts, this closed loop system is key in reducing the risk of contamination and potential variations in the powder performance as a result of exposure to oxygen and humidity,” explained LPW.

Dr Phil Carroll, CEO of LPW Technology added, “Viewing Additive Manufacturing from the perspective of the metal powder is what has driven the development of our PowderLife metal powder atomization, powder transport, delivery and traceability system. Our PowderEye sensors ensure that the powder environment is closely monitored during transport and throughout the metal AM process. We are delighted that Additive Industries has chosen to adopt this approach as part of their integrated industrial additive manufacturing system”.

Daan Kersten CEO of Additive Industries said, “We have been working with LPW for years and share the vision on full automation and integration. Integrating the LPW Powder Hopper solution and PowderSolve software in our MetalFAB1 systems and software allows our customers to accelerate the manufacturing of industrial quality parts and store all data in one place.”

“The integrated supply of powder combined with full traceability closes the loop to produce certified parts in regulated environments like aerospace and healthcare. Moreover, the automated and closed powder loading system cuts manual labour significantly and reduces operator exposure to powder providing a safe and healthy work environment. The long-term relationship between LPW Technology and Additive Industries has resulted into this innovative powder handling system.”

You can read more about CEO Daan Kersten’s perspective on how industrial 3D printing is moving towards production in our trends in additive manufacturing series.

You can read more 3D printing news from Farnborough International Airshow 2018 here.

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