Boosting additive manufacturing presence, Siemens acquires majority stake in Materials Solutions

Siemens (Erlangen, Germany) has acquired a majority stake (85%) in additive manufacturing processing and production company Materials Solutions (Worcester, West Midlands, England), and the remaining 15% will be held by Carl Brancher, Materials Solutions' founder and CEO.

Materials Solutions uses selective laser melting (SLM) technology to manufacture high-performance metal parts, including turbomachinery parts—particularly high-temperature applications for gas turbines where accuracy, surface finish, and high quality are critical to ensure operational performance of the parts in service. In August 2015, Siemens Venture Capital acquired a minority stake (14%) in the company, which currently employs more than 20 highly qualified engineers. Financial details of the deal were not disclosed.

With the acquisition, Siemens is able to secure expertise in materials and additive manufacturing process development, with focus on high-temperature super alloys, according to Willi Meixner, CEO of Siemens' Power and Gas Division. Further, the acquisition meets the company's vision for growth and application of advanced technologies within its Power & Gas portfolio, he says.

Materials Solutions manufactures Siemens burner heads.

Siemens extensively uses additive manufacturing technology for rapid prototyping, and has introduced serial production solutions for rapid manufacturing of small fuel mixers and for rapid repair of burner tips for mid-size gas turbines. Siemens Industrial Turbomachinery (Finspång, Sweden) started using additive manufacturing technology in 2009 and opened a production facility for metal 3D-printed components in February 2016. This investment was the first step in the company's plans for mass manufacture and repair of metal parts with additive manufacturing. The first 3D-printed burner component for a Siemens heavy-duty gas turbine is in commercial operation in a power plant in Brno, Czech Republic.

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