Laser sintering systems manufacturer EOS announced an exclusive joint venture with Swiss-based BESTinCLASS, a company that has developed the micro-machining process (MMP). MMP applies a mechanical-physical-chemical surface treatment to items placed inside a treatment tank. Resulting from this agreement, FirstSurface Ltd., a Joint Venture between EOS and BESTinCLASS, will be the exclusive provider of MMP in the UK. Further exclusive locations in Europe are in preparation.
Apart from the watchmaking and luxury goods industry, MMP can be applied in a wide variety of product sectors including aerospace, medical, mould making and auto-sport, all of which enjoy performance gains as a result of the unique accuracy and control provided by the Micro Machining Process. Benefits of MMP include:
-Surface finishes can be controlled selectively up to a mirror-like polish
-Costs and turnaround times are predictable and controlled
-Finishes can be reproduced to industrial standards for multiple parts
-Treated parts are free from contamination
In addition, part geometries are not altered, cavities can be accessed and the process can be applied selectively. Apart from that, the mechanical properties of the treated surfaces are not altered, hardening is minimized and the process is approved for parts used in medical applications.
Dr. Hans Langer, founder and CEO of EOS says: "Our Direct Metal Laser-Sintering (DMLS) processes metal materials with an application spectrum ranging from prototypes to series products. This already enables a full range of new product developments and production processes. There is a tendency among our clients to increasingly demand post-production surface finishing options as well. Our cooperation not only guarantees that they get a one-stop-shop solution from design to polishing, it can also help them—among other things—to secure a competitive advantage for their respective products. As such, the joint venture we now contracted with BESTinCLASS is a perfect addition to our current portfolio. And it paves the way for new e-Manufacturing applications and solutions."
Laurent Cataldo, general manager of BESTinCLASS, sees a lot of benefits for all parties involved in this co-operation: "e-Manufacturing offers a huge potential for Rapid Manufacturing applications. In this context, surface finishings like those offered by BESTinCLASS become more and more important too." And he adds: "On the other hand, we as a company can learn a lot about surface-finishing needs in industries other than watchmaking and luxury goods, which currently are our primary focus. As such, we are more than happy to cooperate with EOS, the market leader in Laser-Sintering."