HBIS Group Co., a leading steel supplier in China, has announced a collaboration with Siemens focused on additive manufacturing technologies. Through the partnership, the companies will work on 3D printing R&D to advance industrial applications for the technology.
This is not the first collaboration between the two companies, as Siemens has provided HBIS with state-of-the-art equipment and technologies for years, acting as an important strategic partner to the Chinese steel company. More specifically, Siemens and HBIS partnered in 2016 for the joint development of digital factories, intelligent manufacturing and metallurgic technology optimization.
The recently signed strategic cooperation agreement will now see the German conglomerate explore next-generation manufacturing solutions, such as additive manufacturing, with HBIS. Ultimately, HBIS aims to become a Chinese leader in additive manufacturing.
As part of the partnership, Siemens will reportedly offer consultation services to HBIS, which will encompass strategic direction, marketing positioning, competitive advantages and application scenarios for additive manufacturing. According to Li Yiren, the head of strategic planning at HBIS, HBIS is the first iron and steel company in China to collaborate this extensively with Siemens on additive manufacturing.
The two companies will also set up a joint additive manufacturing lab, where Siemens will offer support for technological roadmapping, R&D system building and planning for production and equipment.
The overall aim of the strategic partnership is for HBIS to operate an industrial service platform to serve the Chinese market. Additive manufacturing will be an integral part of this service platform.
Headquartered in Shijiazhuang, China, HBIS is the fourth largest steel producer in the world and serves the Chinese and Serbian markets. The company is also known as Hesteel Group Company Limited. Siemens, for its part, ramped up its own AM capacity with the opening of a €30 million Materials Solution Facility in December 2018.