In the latest high-profile acquisition, Desktop Metal (NYSE: DM) has acquired Aidro, a pioneer in volume production applied to next-generation hydraulics 3D printing and fluid power systems through metal additive manufacturing. Based in Northern Italy, Aidro is a pioneer in applying metal PBF technology and DfAM processes across a wide range of industries, including oil & gas, agricultural equipment, aerospace, and mobile and industrial machinery, among others.
Founded in 1982, Aidro has almost 40 years of experience in the design and production of valves, manifolds, and various hydraulic components and fluid power systems. Aidro offers best-in-class expertise in design for additive manufacturing, including finite element analysis simulation and topology optimization techniques. The company’s engineers leverage these technical capabilities to redesign traditional hydraulic components for AM production using complex geometries to reduce weight, save space, and consolidate multiple components into one, eliminating assembly and welding requirements. Hydraulic components produced by Aidro using AM improve performance versus conventional manufacturing by optimizing flow channel placement and geometry to increase flow capacity and decrease pressure drops.
To offer customers innovative and custom solutions, Aidro has invested in AM facilities and processes alongside its conventional manufacturing capabilities. The company’s dedicated AM department features metal 3D printers, 3D scanning technologies, and ISO9001 and AS/EN9100 certifications, all leveraged to deliver high-performance products to customers, including industry-leading original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), while reducing production lead times for volume quantities of end-use components, spare parts, or on-demand rapid prototypes.
“This acquisition advances Desktop Metal’s strategy to support our major OEM customers with proprietary design and application know-how as well as through a combination of best-in-class AM products and high-value parts production across killer applications for AM 2.0,” said Ric Fulop, Founder and CEO of Desktop Metal. “Aidro brings a talented team with decades of experience in hydraulics and fluid power systems and a passion for leveraging AM to deliver performance advantages to their customers. We’re excited about the acquisition and look forward to advancing AM 2.0 for high-volume production of hydraulics, valves, fluid power systems, and many more end-use parts in development with Aidro.”
After Aerosint, this is the second high-profile acquisition by Dekstop Metal in the field of laser powder bed fusion processes. As Desktop Metal’s Head of Marketing Ilya Mirman explained in a recent conversation during the recent European tour, the company’s vision is to integrate the benefits and know-how in all metal AM processes, and in particular powder-bed processes (Aerosint for multi-material, Airdro for optimized hydraulics), into a single approach to manufacturing 2.0 and digital additive mass production.
“Additive manufacturing offers benefits unmatched by conventional manufacturing, and once Aidro realized the advantages of leveraging AM, we quickly allocated resources to develop expertise and take advantage of the opportunity,” said Valeria Tirelli, Co-CEO and President of Aidro. “This partnership is the next step in our AM evolution, and now, with access to Desktop Metal’s scale and industry-leading AM 2.0 technology portfolio, including its volume production-focused metal binder jetting solutions, we’re thrilled at the growth potential for Aidro.”
What is particularly interesting about Aidro, and the reason why it probably attracted Desktop Metal, is that the company has already—now for several years—been implementing additive manufacturing for serial production of highly complex parts to optimize highly complex integrated systems. Its core products, integrated, DfAM optimized valves and other integrated subassemblies, represent one of the most relevant “killer applications” for additive manufacturing.
“We are thrilled to join forces with Desktop Metal,” said Tommaso Tirelli, Co-CEO and VP of Business Development of Aidro. “This partnership will enable us to continue investing in the expansion of AM for next-generation hydraulic solutions to disrupt massive industries such as oil & gas and aerospace.”
“With the collaboration and support of Desktop Metal, we will be able to take our AM capabilities in hydraulics to the next level,” said Alberto Tacconelli, GM of Aidro. “We are ready to embrace AM to develop innovative products for our customers, leveraging mass production technologies to achieve affordable part costs and high-performance designs that overcome the limitations of conventional manufacturing.”