Metal AM company GKN Additive announced the opening of its first customer center in China. The new facility, located in Danyang, will house cutting edge 3D printing equipment and will enable the company to teach its clients about the technology and design and produce metal components through hands-on prototyping workshops.
The opening of the customer center marks a significant expansion for GKN Additive—both in China and Asia more broadly. The company now operates six R&D and manufacturing facilities across Europe, North America and Asia, which—through its print network—enable it to meet the demand of its clients and to scale up its business globally.
The location for the facility in Danyang is not without precedent, as parent company GKN Powder Metallurgy had already set up shop there as well as in nearby Yizheng. Presently, the company says it employs over 500 people across the two locations in the coastal Jiangsu province. With just over a decade working in the Chinese market, GKN Powder Metallurgy has become one of the top five suppliers to the Chinese automotive premium market.
“China is the world’s largest automotive market and automotive manufacturing country for conventional and new energy vehicles,” commented Guido Degen, President Additive Manufacturing at GKN Powder Metallurgy. “Automotive development activities have shifted from traditional regions to China, and this leads to an increased demand on new technologies like additive manufacturing.”
“We believe that metal additive manufacturing is one of the future processes that will have great effect on the automotive industry and electric vehicle production. From saving time to market through rapid prototyping to redesigning and rethinking parts and assemblies for additive, to reduced inventories by on-demand replacements—metal AM adds value during the whole component life cycle.”
The new AM facility in Danyang will offer new opportunities and support to GKN Powder Metallurgy’s existing operations, which include manufacturing highly engineered metal powders and sintered products for automotive engine, transmission, body and chassis applications. The company already has established partnerships with leading automotive companies including Schaeffler, Denso, VW, Getrag and JATCO.