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Oerlikon expands additive manufacturing R&D and production capacity in the US

Oerlikon is expanding its global additive manufacturing (AM) business with a state-of-the-art R&D and production facility for additively manufactured advanced components in the Charlotte metro area in North Carolina, USA. Oerlikon will invest around CHF 55 million (US$55 million) in this facility in 2017 and 2018, and expects to create more than 100 new jobs at this site over the longer term.

Oerlikon expects the demand for additively manufactured metal components to increase rapidly in the coming years, making it one of the key growth areas in next-generation manufacturing technologies. Additive manufacturing is becoming increasingly suitable for the series production of advanced components. It is a technology that allows for the customization of products, the decentralization of production, change in design methodology and efficiency in material usage. The transformational impact of AM is likely to redefine some of the more conventional manufacturing value chains.

Following the acquisition of the AM production company, citim, in Germany, Oerlikon is extending its AM competence and investing in the construction of a new facility in Charlotte. The addition of the new site in Charlotte brings Oerlikon’s AM network to four locations globally. The Charlotte site complements citim’s sites in Barleben (Magdeburg), Germany, and Atlanta, Georgia, and the new production facility for advanced metal powders for additive manufacturing and advanced coatings in Plymouth Township, Michigan.

citim AM produces prototypes and small batch series for various industries: aerospace, energy, motorsports, automotive, medical, consumer goods and many others. Its materials include Aluminum (AlSi7Mg, AlSi10Mg, AlSi9Cu3); Aluminium - Scalmalloy RP (AlMgSc); Cobalt Chrome (CoCr); Copper Alloy (CuNi2SiCr); Inconel (IN718, IN625); Stainless Steel (17-4, 316L, 1.4859); Tool Steel (1.2709); and Titanium (TiAl6V4).

The new facility in Charlotte will offer US industrial customers a single source for a full suite of integrated services for end-to-end advanced component manufacturing—from R&D, design, applications engineering and series production to post processing. The Charlotte region is home to a rapidly growing number of global industrial, aerospace, and automotive firms. The Charlotte site will be fully operational in 2018. However, Oerlikon will already begin its AM business activities in Charlotte from the beginning of 2017 at an interim facility.


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