Siemens, Europe’s largest industrial manufacturing company with a global workforce of over 372,000 employees, is investing £27m in a 3D printing facility in Worcester, UK.
The 2.9 sq mile facility, which opens in September, is set to install 50 industrial 3D printers over the next five years. The additive manufacturing systems will be used largely to produce metal parts for UK clients such as Rolls-Royce and BAE Systems.
Aeronautical and automotive 3D printing with EOS
The new facility is an expansion of the 17 industrial 3D printers currently operated by Siemens in Worcester, obtained in 2016 when Siemens acquired an 85 percent stake in Materials Solutions.
Material Solutions is a 3D printing company specialising in high temperature alloys used in making turbomachinery parts, such as turbines. They currently operate a range of EOS SLM and DLD 3D printers: 14 EOS M270/290s, one M400-4 and two M400-1s. Siemens’ have not announced which printers they intend to purchase as part of the expansion.
Siemens’ 3D printing vision
In the announcement Jürgen Maier, CEO of Siemens UK, emphasised the importance of digital manufacturing technologies: “If the UK’s manufacturing sector is to grow and thrive we must embrace digital technologies and build new industries based on them. Our vision and ambition for Materials Solutions perfectly represents how we are putting this strategy into practice.”
Materials Solutions’ general manager, Phil Hatherley, hopes the investment will “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”.
Last year Siemens’ Materials Solutions received the 2017 3D Printing Industry Application of the year Award for their superalloy gas turbine blades. The additive manufactured gas turbine blades have reduced lead times and are used in the Siemens SGT-400 gas turbine.
The new Siemens’ facility in Worcester is the latest in a wave of UK investments in 3D printing. Last week Manchester Metropolitan University announced it was investing £6m in a new 40,000 sq ft 3D printing facility. Last month Autodesk opened a new Advanced Manufacturing Facility including 3D printers from DMG Mori.
The publication of the UK Additive Manufacturing National Strategy noted that investment in additive manufacturing is vital for the country’s high value manufacturing (HVM) sector.
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Featured image shows EOS M270s installed at Materials Solutions. Photo via Materials Solutions.