Röchling additive manufacturing center established in Waldachtal

Hosts Stratasys, Trumpf, HP, and Arburg systems among others

The Mannheim-based Röchling Group is exploring new horizons in manufacturing. The new Röchling additive manufacturing center is part of Röchling Direct Manufacturing GmbH, headquartered in Waldachtal in the German state of Baden-Württemberg (district of Freudenstadt). The company has thus reinforced its commitment to additive manufacturing technology.

“Additive manufacturing at the Waldachtal site will help significantly advance the Röchling Group as the company heads into its third century, since it gives us the unique opportunity to manufacture complex components and entire series quickly and cost-effectively,” said Professor Hanns-Peter Knaebel, CEO of the Röchling Group. Given the wide variety of possibilities and material combinations as well as the almost limitless design freedom, additive manufacturing at the Röchling Direct Manufacturing Center (RDMC), which will be opened in spring 2020, is the perfect means of furthering Röchling’s strategic positioning as a leading provider of technology solutions in all three of the company’s divisions (Industrial, Automotive and Medical).

The two General Managers of Röchling Direct Manufacturing GmbH, Jens Harmeling (left) and Dr. Axel Höfter, are in charge of the Röchling Direct Manufacturing Center. The RDMC will be opened in spring 2020 and is intended to boost the high-performance plastics specialist’s expertise in additive manufacturing. Photo: Wolfgang Martini

Covering an area of 500 square meters, the RDMC’s aspiration from the outset is to make efficient use of available technologies. However, there is also a focus on collaborating with customers to define the application area of additive manufacturing and expand it in the interests of delivering technology for the Röchling Group. Moreover, the cooperation with machine manufacturers, service providers and scientific partners will be steered with the objective of developing technologies and materials for the customized products of tomorrow.

The Waldachtal site offers a broad portfolio of relevant manufacturing processes in the areas of plastics and metals. These include both traditional and new AM technologies for a wide range of capabilities. The company offers polymer pellet 3D printing via Arburg’s AKF technology, powder bed fusion via SLS as well as HP’s MJF, metal powder bed fusion via Trumpf’s SLM, PolyJet and FDM filament extrusion via Stratasys.

The RDMC is intended as a hub for the comprehensive transfer of additive manufacturing to all Röchling Group sites. The aim is to enable the available expertise to be harnessed equally worldwide for the purpose of optimizing products and production.

“Additive manufacturing makes it possible to completely re-imagine conventional products and manufacturing processes,” said Sebastian Koller, Head of Innovation & Product Development at Röchling Medical in Waldachtal, where the RDMC has been set up. And Dr. Axel Höfter, General Manager of Röchling Direct Manufacturing GmbH together with Jens Harmeling, added, “In the future, it will be possible for the technologies to be reliably deployed there under controlled ambient conditions in order to create high-quality products. The RDMC enables holistic and pioneering solutions that boost our customer’s success in all areas around the world.”

Davide Sher

Since 2002, I have built up extensive experience as a technology journalist, market analyst and consultant for the additive manufacturing industry. Born in Milan, Italy, I spent 12 years in the United States, where I received my Bachelor of Arts undergraduate degree. As a journalist covering the tech industry - especially the videogame industry - for over 10 years, I began covering the AM industry specifically in 2013, as blogger. In 2016 I co-founded London-based 3D Printing Business Media Ltd. (now 3dpbm) which operates in marketing, editorial, and market analysis & consultancy services for the additive manufacturing industry. 3dpbm publishes 3D Printing Business Directory, the largest global directory of companies related to 3DP, and leading news and insights websites 3D Printing Media Network and Replicatore. I am also a Senior Analyst for leading US-based firm SmarTech Analysis focusing on the additive manufacturing industry and relative vertical markets.

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