From January 24-30, 2016, Canada Makes lead a delegation on a fact-finding mission for Canadian stakeholders in the additive manufacturing (AM) sector to visit leading German companies working in Metal AM.
The group visited OEMs such as DMG MORI, Airbus Group Innovations (the Ludwig Bolkow Campus), EOS, SLM Solutions, as well as metal service providers Hoedtke GmbH & Co. KG and FIT AG Additive Manufacturing Group.
Canada Makes delegates were able to acquire a wealth of knowledge about how to improve AM competitiveness in Canada, as well as discuss some the exceptional technologies being developed in Canada. One example is Equispheres, a Canadian start-up who manufactures and markets a unique product line of ultra-high-performance spherical metal powders engineered for AM, specifically Metal AM and Cold Spray AM. On several occasions Kevin Nicholds, CEO of Equispheres, was asked in a most curious manner, “How do you do that?”
Key to the success of the trade mission was the development of long lasting relationships. These help to tear down trade barriers between countries by ensuring knowledge and awareness is shared in both directions, and products and services are more easily made available to those in need on either side.
Canada Makes advocates on behalf of additive manufacturing while also seeking new markets, opportunities, and partners who can improve the Canadian manufacturing sector.
The trip proved worthwhile for all participants. “This trip has been fantastic,” said Gerard Peets, Director General of Industry Canada Manufacturing and Life Sciences Branch.
Many delegates expressed interest in more missions leading Canada Makes to start planning its next mission with an eye on the UK as a good next stop as well as a return to Germany and even China.
“The goal is to keep Canada competitive,” said Frank Defalco, the Manager of Canada Makes who led the trade mission. “We are building partnerships on behalf of our members that will carry Canada through these tumultuous economic times and keep our manufacturers up-to-date on the latest technologies.”
We are very appreciative of the following companies for kindly hosting our Canadian delegation and for sharing their knowledge and time.
DGM MORI in Pfronten – This was the focus of the DMG MORI Open House event at DECKEL MAHO. with an exhibition area of 7,400 m², the machine tool manufacturer showcased 90 high-tech exhibits live in operation. The highlight was the new LaserTec 65 3D machine with additive and subtractive manufacturing capabilities.
Airbus: Ludwig Bolkow Campus in Munich – The Ludwig Boelkow Campus (LBC) was founded in March 2012. The only innovation campus of its kind lies just outside of Munich and combines cutting-edge research with first-class vocational training and continuing education. In addition, it specifically aims to draw high-tech aerospace and security companies to its site. The highlight here was a visit to APWorks, which is a wholly owned Airbus start-up designed to market technologies developed by Airbus in other (non-aerospace) markets. For example, it uses additive manufacturing expertise developed at AGI in the high-end automotive sector, including F1 racing.
EOS GmbH Electro Optical Systems in Munich – EOS is a world leader in powder bed laser sintering machine manufacturing. They are currently members of Canada Makes and this proved to be a most valuable stop for knowledge and relationships.
FIT AG Additive Manufacturing Group North of Munich – FIT Technology Group has specialized in innovative solutions in the field of additive manufacturing. Ranging from Rapid Prototyping to serial production, software, and hardware development. They are able to provide all services under one roof, quickly and reliably. Fit is a leading-edge contract manufacturer for additive manufacturing with impressive growth of 40 per cent since 2013.
Hoedtke GmbH & Co. KG near Hamburg – A high-quality metal fabricator established in 1937, which has been an early adopter of a number of laser technologies. Canada Makes’ interest here was their recent installation of a DMG Mori LaserTec 3D 65.
SLM Solutions GmbH – SLM is an experienced company that transformed its history in mining and metallurgy into additive manufacturing. They are an OEM of powder bed technology and are experiencing rapid growth.
Representing Canada on this mission were Canada Makes / Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME), CRIQ, Equispheres, Industry Canada, Manufacturing and Life Sciences Branch, Québec Metallurgy Centre (CMQ), Ptooling, Precision ADM, Whitfield Welding Inc. and Sheridan College’s Centre for Advanced Manufacturing and Design Technologies.
To learn more about Canada Makes or become a member, please visit our membership page.
Canada Makes would like to thank Hendrik Taulin, Trade Commissioner Investment from the Canadian Embassy in Germany, for being a great guide and helping put together this great initiative.