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Siemens to invest £27m in new 3D-printing factory
Siemens is to make a £27 million investment in a new, state-of-the-art manufacturing facility for Worcester-based Materials Solutions Ltd; its additive manufacturing, or 3D printing specialist.
The new building, set to open in September 2018, will enable it to increase its fleet of 3D printing machines from 15 to 50 over the next five years.
It represents a major investment by Siemens in this rapidly advancing and innovative technology. The new factory will be fully powered by Siemens Digital Enterprise technologies solutions, an end-to-end portfolio comprising software-based systems and automation components which cover every conceivable requirement arising along the industrial value chain and therefore harness the potential of digitalisation. The location for the new facility will be the Worcester Six Business Park Development which is host to manufacturing, offices, R&D and logistics buildings.
The expansion of the business is also expected to support the creation of around 55 high quality new jobs, increasing Materials Solutions’ team of world class engineers, metallurgists and manufacturing specialists to 80 – and making it a global centre of excellence within the Additive Manufacturing sector. The new facility will also be a focal point for collaboration between Materials Solutions and the already sizable UK Siemens Digital Factory division.
Materials Solutions, also offers comprehensive services for engineering and printing up to the complete manufacturing of parts for the aviation industry, the automotive industry, power generation and motor sports. The new facility will be a global centre of excellence for the business, and act as the launch pad for its global growth plans.
Siemens acquired a majority stake (85 percent) in Materials Solutions Ltd in 2016. The business is a pioneer in the use of Selective Laser Melting (SLM) technology for the manufacture of high-performance metal parts and has grown its business considerably over the last two years.
Juergen Maier, Siemens UK CEO, said: “This significant investment underlines our belief that there is huge potential for innovation and growth within the Additive Manufacturing sector. It is also the next step towards achieving our ambition of pioneering the industrialisation of 3D printing and demonstrates how we are leading the way for the fourth industrial revolution,”
“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.”
Juergen Maier recently led the Made Smarter review for Government on behalf of industry in the UK. The in-depth review which forms part of the UK industrial strategy called for much greater national investment in additive manufacturing, arguing it will significantly boost industrial productivity and create new highly skilled jobs.
Phil Hatherley General Manager of Materials Solutions, added: “Our Worcester-based team are specialists in using Additive Manufacturing technology to solve complex engineering challenges for our customers across a range of sectors including aerospace, automotive and power generation. Our new facility will give us the space and scope to continue to innovate for these specialist and demanding industries and 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.”
Hatherley continued: “We were incredibly proud to have achieved a world first last year – the production of a successfully tested 3D printed gas turbine blade – and I believe our new factory will facilitate similar achievements for our customers operating in other highly demanding environments, allowing us to maintain our position at the leading edge of this incredibly exciting industry.”
Business Secretary Greg Clark concluded: “Britain has a proud manufacturing heritage and through our Industrial Strategy the Government has set out a vision and plan that will build on this strength and create an environment that enables manufacturers to continue to thrive. The investment being made by Siemens into UK advanced manufacturing demonstrates the confidence businesses have in the strategy.
“Innovation is at the heart of the future of UK manufacturing and this factory will produce a game-changing technology that has the potential to transform the UK’s industrial base, demonstrating industry backing of the approach set out in Made Smarter and making the sector even more productive and competitive in global markets.”
Founded in 2006, Materials Solutions is a pioneer in the use of Selective Laser Melting (SLM) technology for the manufacture of high-performance metal parts, with a focus on high-temperature super alloys. As a result, it has developed proven applications, know-how and a supply chain for some of the world’s most advanced engineering companies operating in a broad range of industries.
The company also works closely with Siemens’ Power & Gas Division and it is anticipated that, thanks to its expanded footprint, it will manufacture thousands of parts for use in Siemens power generation equipment over the coming years.