ALTANA, a Germany-based specialty chemicals company, is expanding its stake in the additive manufacturing sector with the acquisition of two companies: Germany’s TLS Technik GmbH & Co. Spezialpulver KG, a manufacturer of metal powders for 3D printing; and Britain’s Aluminium Materials Technologies Ltd. (AMT). The acquisitions will expand ALTANA’s ECKART division, a leading manufacturer of effect pigments.
The first acquisition is of TLS, a Bitterfeld-based firm with over 25 years of experience in the production of industrial metal powders for AM. The company’s extensive capability will complement ECKART’s own activities in the atomization of metal materials. As part of the deal, ECKART will gradually take over TLS’ production facility and roughly 40 employees.
“By acquiring the TLS business, we are expanding our portfolio in 3D printing for industrial additive manufacturing and positioning ourselves in a technology market of the future,” explained Martin Babilas, CEO of ALTANA AG. “With this step we are continuing to implement ALTANA’s strategy of generating value-creating growth through targeted acquisitions, even in difficult economic times.”
Dr. Wolfgang Schütt, head of ECKART, added: “TLS’ expertise in the production of metal powders and alloys for metallic 3D printing complements ECKART’s strengths as a specialist in the atomization of metals. We are also strengthening ourselves in a targeted manner for functional applications.”
The second acquisition by ALTANA is of UK-based AMT, a materials company that has developed several specialty alloys for additive manufacturing including the patented A20X powder, which enables the production of lightweight components with excellent mechanical properties.
“AMT and its A20X alloy complement TLS’ capabilities, enabling us to offer users even more high-performance materials in the future, including in the aerospace industry, a key market for metallic 3D printing,” stated Dr. Schütt.
The ultimate aim of the acquisitions is for ECKART to reinforce one of its core competencies: materials production. The company will work with experts at TLS and AMT to further optimize metal powders for AM and develop new ones to create new applications. ALTANA’s ECKART will also leverage its R&D resources and its access to international markets to drive this business area.