Mitsubishi Power, Ltd., a subsidiary of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) Group, has concluded an agreement with Aubert & Duval, a leading European manufacturer of special alloys and metal powders, on technology licensing related to the specific composition and manufacturing of metal powders used as materials for metal additive manufacturing (AM).
The agreement paves the way to full-scale inauguration of Mitsubishi Power’s AM business in which the company will apply its proprietary technologies accumulated through its operations in gas turbines and other thermal power systems. In September this year, Mitsubishi Power created the AM-Zone® within its Hitachi Works in Ibaraki Prefecture to serve as a development and manufacturing base for the AM business. This new facility is equipped with powder manufacturing equipment and metal AM systems of all kinds, and is capable of fully integrated production – from the development of powder and wire materials to metal AM and product finishing.
Mitsubishi Power possesses proprietary material technologies in metal AM and can optimally prepare raw materials for each application required. It also has technologies that significantly enhance the performance of powder manufacturing equipment. This is achieved by incorporating the company’s specially developed high-performance gas nozzles into the gas atomization system that produces metal powder materials by atomizing inert gas into vacuum-fused metals.
Aubert & Duval is a leading European supplier of high-performance alloys and metal powders, provides highly reliable metallurgical solutions for aerospace, energy defense and other demanding industries. For this reason, Mitsubishi Power believes that Aubert & Duval meets all conditions as a collaborative partner in developing its AM business.
Under the new agreement, Aubert & Duval’s know-how in the composition and manufacturing of powders for AM applications will be combined with Mitsubishi Power’s proprietary technologies to enable provision of powders optimally suited to metal AM. This integration of capabilities is expected to significantly improve the performance of manufactured products. As such, for Mitsubishi Power the conclusion of the collaborative agreement marks a significant first step toward full-scale inauguration of its AM business.
The AM-Zone, in collaboration with local governments, conducts tours and other activities to promote greater utilization of AM technologies. Online tours are also being offered to showcase the latest technologies during this period of increasing digitalization due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Moving forward, Mitsubishi Power plans to pursue labor-saving measures through remote operations and digital manufacturing.
Through this collaboration with Aubert & Duval and the creation of the AM-Zone, Mitsubishi Power will become involved in all aspects of metal AM processing, from material development to final product manufacture. With the development of this new business area, the company will help usher in the next phase of industrialization for the energy sector and beyond.