Major automotive OEM purchases additional multi-laser AM systems

A major European automotive OEM has acquired two more additive manufacturing (AM) systems from SLM solutions, bringing its total fleet of AM systems up to 10.

The fleet comprises several quad-laser SLM 500 systems, as well as several SLM 280 systems, which can be equipped with either one or two lasers.

The OEM uses its AM systems to produce various metal parts in series for vehicle production.

The global automotive market is expected to grow steadily over the next decade, reaching a volume of around 123 million units in 2030, with the majority of it driven by the shift to electric vehicles, which in turn will further accelerate AM adoption.

According to SLM Solutions, this is due to AM enabling lighter builds required by heavy battery packs, as well as better thermal management to extend the lifetime of batteries.

According to the AMPOWER Report 2022, metal AM system sales to the auto sector amounted to €76 million in 2021 and are expected to more than quadruple to 308 million by 2026.

SLM Solutions’ customers are able to meet these demands by deploying a fleet of SLM 500s. Between 2020 and 2021, SLM Solutions sold twice as many SLM 500s, reaching an install base of around 150 machines globally, printing the most complex applications in automotive.

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'This latest sale is a testament to the quality of our systems and our commitment to making our partners realise their visions,' commented SLM Solutions CEO, Sam O'Leary. 'The productivity and reliability of our systems and the innovation and support of our team make us the go-to with the world's leading automotive OEMs. These are long-lasting relationships forged from trust and close collaboration as much as they are from metal and lasers.' 

The SLM 500 can integrate four lasers independently or in parallel to increase build rates by 90 per cent over twin-laser configurations. Machine operator and powder are separated through a closed loop powder handling strategy with an automated powder sieve and supply. Designed for serial production, the exchangeable build cylinder enables the shortest possible fire to fire times, reducing downtimes of the machine to a minimum.