3D printer and production systems manufacturer Stratasys Ltd. (NASDAQ: SSYS) has entered into a strategic partnership with SIA Engineering Company Limited (SGX: S59). As a part of the Singapore Airlines Group, SIA Engineering Company has expertise in manufacturing for the aerospace industry.

In addition to this partnership, Stratasys are investing $25 million in UK based LPW Technology, an additive manufacturing metal powder producer.

A “milestone in aviation”

The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Stratasys and SIA Engineering Company was signed on 5 April 2017. Stratasys CEO Ilan Levin says that the partnership is “an important milestone for additive manufacturing in the aviation industry,” Levin added,

As we have shown with our existing relationships with leading aerospace manufacturers, including Airbus and Boeing, we are committed to advancing the use of additive manufacturing for high requirement aerospace applications. By working closely with SIAEC, we are extending that focus to solve the unique challenges of the MRO [Maintenance, repair and operations] segment and further drive adoption.

Stratasys and SIA will establish a Singapore-based Additive Manufacturing Service Centre, and develop aerospace applications for Stratasys machines.

As 3D Printing Industry recently reported, 3D Systems are also strengthening their expertise in the aerospace sector.

Stratasys ULTEM Airduct at NATO COTC. Photo by Michael Petch

Stratasys ULTEM Airduct at NATO COTC. Photo by Michael Petch

Strengthening knowledge in metal additive manufacturing 

LPW Technologies already has research and development facilities across the UK, including one at the internationally recognized Daresbury Laboratory of scientific research in Cheshire. The $25 million invested into LPW Technology by Stratasys will go towards new metal powder production facilities the UK and the US.

Powder making at LPW covers a range of methods including gas atomization, electrode induction melting gas atomization, and plasma spheroidization, so it is fair to say the company have a broad perspective on the best way to work with particular metals.

When 3D Printing Industry asked leading additive manufacturing analyst Terry Wohlers about important trends, he identified the growth of metal powder sales as particularly notable.

A diagram of the gas atomization technique. Image via LPW Technology

A diagram of the gas atomization technique. Image via LPW Technology

LPW will also use the funds to advance its PowderLife management system. PowderLife, “enables the traceability and management of metal powder batches throughout their lifecycle.” LPW Founder and CEO, Dr Phil Carroll, asserts that Stratasys will be helping the company meet standards in medical, aerospace, defence and automotive industries.

Alon Elie, Stratasys Vice President of Corporate Development, adds,

As metal 3D printing extends to production environments, issues of quality control, integrated workflows, and process know-how become more critical in the supply chain. This investment in LPW is part of our strategic decision to strengthen our knowledge and expertise in metal additive manufacturing, in which we are already active today via Stratasys Direct Manufacturing.

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Featured image shows SIA Engineering Company airplane hangar. Photo via SIA Engineering Company.

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