[Image: GKN Powder Metallurgy]
Germany-based GKN Powder Metallurgy is expanding its North American 3D printing presence.
As 3D printing continues to expand worldwide and metal in particular continues to attract great interest, GKN is broadening its global network. This week, the company announced the opening of a 38,260-square-foot facility in Michigan.
North America is an attractive market for international 3D printing companies, and many — like fellow German company EOS — have been focused on opening and investing in local facilities, signaling both their interest and the expansion of metal technologies. This goes both ways of course, as US-based companies like Markforged establish their own operations in Europe; additive manufacturing is truly a global industry.
GKN’s new facility houses its new North American Powder Metallurgy Headquarters and its Additive Manufacturing Customer Center.
More than 80 employees are set up at the new facility, representing all three of the company’s businesses: Hoeganaes, GKN Sinter Metals, and GKN Additive.
The square footage breaks up into a majority (20,700 square feet) of collaborative work areas, just a bit smaller shop floor space (17,700 square feet), and the 3,200-square-foot AM Customer Center that houses two DMLS machines.
“We are excited to start a new journey in Auburn Hills with a space that is dedicated to our team, our community and the advanced technology we create for our customers. This building reinforces our commitment to the North American market and continued global growth,” said Reid Southby, President, GKN Sinter Metals Large Segment.
“GKN Powder Metallurgy is at an exhilarating point in its journey of growth and innovation. We now have the opportunity to provide our customers and strategic partners with local and exceptional support on all fronts of our business.”
Customer Centers with functional equipment are an excellent resource for companies. Especially because additive manufacturing is still both a new-to-many process and a major investment, getting hands-on knowledge with working systems as well as those who work with them every day is an invaluable experience. I appreciated a visit to Nano Dimension’s Customer Experience Center in their Israeli HQ, for example, and the setup included an invented customer to walk step-by-step through the entire workflow.
Now that the GKN family of companies has its Michigan facility, US-based customers have better access for both understanding and conducting business. The localization to the North American market provides regional customers more efficient lead times as well as access to local customer support.
The facility is also set up with room to grow. As operations in metal additive manufacturing expand, GKN Powder Metallurgy is poised to continue to partner with industry participants and serve customers in prototyping, medium series, and aftermarket metal 3D printing.