Siemens has invested £27 million in a new UK additive manufacturing facility that will produce components for the aerospace, automotive and power generation industries.
The new building, set to open in September 2018, will be run by Materials Solutions, a selective laser melting specialist that Siemens acquired an 85 per cent stake of back in 2016. With it Materials Solutions will be able to increase its fleet of 3D printing machines from 15 to 50 over the next five years.
‘This significant investment underlines our belief that there is huge potential for innovation and growth within the additive manufacturing sector,’ said Siemens UK CEO Juergen Maier. ‘It is also the next step towards achieving our ambition of pioneering the industrialisation of 3D printing.’
The new facility is expected to support the creation of around 55 high quality new jobs, increasing Materials Solutions’ team of engineers, metallurgists and manufacturing specialists to 80.
‘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,’ said Phil Hatherley, general manager of Materials Solutions. ‘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.’
The planned facility will be fully powered by Siemens’ Digital Enterprise technologies solutions, an end-to-end portfolio comprising software-based systems and automation components that cover all requirements arising along the industrial value chain.
Maier recently led the Made Smarter review for the UK Government on behalf of industry in the UK. The in-depth review, forming 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.
‘If the UK’s manufacturing sector is to grow and thrive, we must embrace digital technologies and build new industries based on them,’ Maier commented. ‘Our vision and ambition for Materials Solutions perfectly represents how we are putting this strategy into practice.’