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FIT invests heavily in laser 3D printing systems for metal parts

19 Oct 2017

Specialist German manufacturer of components for aerospace, automotive is buying five EOS M 400-4 laser systems.

FIT AG, an additive manufacturing specialist firm is expanding its industrial 3D printing capacities and investing in five EOS M 400-4 systems.

The EOS AM systems will be part of an expanded factory with 4,200 m2 of floor space, specially designed for serial production using industrial 3D printing technology. FIT says it is “continuing to build on its leading position as a special provider in the field of AM”. FIT is planning to use the EOS systems to manufacture products for the automotive, motorsport, medical technology and aerospace industries.

Founded in 1995, FIT provides rapid prototyping services and additive design and manufacturing through its subsidiaries FIT Prototyping and FIT Production. Group revenue in 2016 was €24 million – up 40% on that of the previous year. The firm employs 330 staff, most of them at the company’s headquarters in Lupburg, Germany.

Seamless AM integration

The EOS M 400-4 systems are equipped with four lasers to ensure greater productivity and excellent part quality. At the same time, the system features a particularly large build platform of 400 x 400 x 400 mm, making it suitable for manufacturing high-quality metal components on an industrial scale. With these five new systems, FIT says it is “looking to increase the diversity of the materials it can process in-house and thereby boost its overall manufacturing capacity”.

In April 2016, FIT began operating the first factory specifically designed for additive manufacturing – the so-called FIT Factory – where it already operated a number of EOS systems. By the end of 2017, FIT is planning to establish an additional AM factory in Lupburg, where the five new EOS M 400-4 systems will be installed.

Carl Fruth, CEO of FIT explained, “The new generation of EOS systems, with their open interfaces that allow us to integrate these machines in our quality assurance system, is a further step towards achieving industrial-scale additive manufacturing of components."

Dr. Adrian Keppler, CEO of EOS, commented, “I am delighted that over 20 years of successful collaboration between EOS and FIT AG in the field of Additive Manufacturing of polymer parts are now being extended to include metal components. FITs’ investment in five EOS M 400-4 systems shows that our systems are ideally suited to integrated large-scale AM production."

GKN and GE Additive collaborate on AM

Manufacuring giant GKN has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with GE Additive, Concept Laser and Arcam to collaborate on additive manufacturing. Under the agreement, GKN becomes a GE Additive development and production centre as well as a preferred powder supplier, while GE and its affiliated companies will supply additive machines and services to GKN.

Jos Sclater, Head of Strategy at GKN, said, “We look forward to collaborating with GE Additive on this revolutionary technology. GKN has a strong history of producing and certifying AM parts and powder, and this distinctive dual expertise enables us to create competitive solutions for our customers. By working together, GKN and GE can accelerate future developments in additive manufacturing and meet the growing demand we’re seeing across a range of industries.”

As part of the agreement some of the activities include:

  • GKN will become a GE Additive development and production partner for a range of powder bed and free form deposition technologies.
  • GE Additive and its affiliated companies will become non-exclusive preferred suppliers of AM machines to GKN and its affiliates.
  • GKN will collaborate with GE Additive on part development projects on powder bed machines to enable new market opportunities.
  • GKN will become a non-exclusive preferred supplier of powder to GE Additive and GE’s industrial businesses.
  • GE Additive’s Engineering Consulting Team (known as “AddWorks”) will assist GKN and its affiliates with the acceleration and industrialization of AM machines.

Vice President and General Manager of GE Additive, Mohammad Ehteshami said, “GE Additive and GKN both understand the transformative power that additive manufacturing will have to a range of industries. Additive machines from Concept Laser and Arcam will bring tremendous value to this GKN relationship and we look forward to collaborating more closely in the future.”

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