LPW Technology, a market leader in developing, manufacturing and supplying metal powders for additive manufacturing, received a strategic investment in its growing business by leading 3D printing solutions provider Stratasys.
In bringing Stratasys on board as a strategic investor, LPW remains majority owned by founder, Dr Carroll, and he will continue to lead the business, supported by LPW’s independent management team. The Stratasys investment represents the first consolidated partnership arrangement in LPW’s approach of developing close working relationships with industry leaders in the 3D printing marketplace.
Already serving leading OEM and Tier-1 suppliers, LPW offers metal powders for additive manufacturing processes as well as PowderLife: an intelligent powder management system that enables the traceability and management of metal powder batches throughout their lifecycle. It provides material history tracing and close monitoring to ensure the powders stay within manufacturers’ specifications and meet their stringent production requirements.
PowderLife is designed to comply with the special quality requirements of the aerospace, defence, automotive and medical-implant industries. What makes this powder lifecycle management system unique in the metal 3D printing space, is the tight integration of powder supply, proprietary process management software, powder-handling equipment, and a powder measurement and classification system.
PowderLife products can be deployed at a customer’s facility, enabling the customer to safely control and recondition powders itself. Alternatively, used powder can be sent to LPW for reprocessing before being returned to the customer for re-use in the additive manufacturing system.
“LPW’s PowderLife solution will enable us to apply our current quality driven approach to additive manufacturing. Having full traceability and control over our materials and process is absolutely central to our manufacturing philosophy.” says Mr Giuseppe Facchini, CEO of Swiss-based Precicast. Precicast makes critical investment castings, such as single crystal turbine blades, for the aerospace and industrial gas-turbine segments.
LPW plans to invest in excess of £20M over the next two years. “This investment will be focused on establishing new facilities in both the UK and US, further developing LPW’s PowderLife and other processing solutions.” says LPW Founder and CEO, Dr Phil Carroll. “The Stratasys investment demonstrates confidence in LPW’s solutions for metal additive manufacturing powders”
“We have worked with Stratasys through its parts-on-demand unit – Stratasys Direct Manufacturing – for over three years,” continues Dr Carroll. “We recognize that it, together with the Stratasys solution business units, brings deep understanding and experience in production across the vertical markets. They will help us realize our strategic growth plans to ensure the LPW solutions meets the requirements of the medical, aerospace, defence and automotive segments.”
According to Stratasys Vice President of Corporate Development, Alon Elie, “LPW’s vision is closely aligned with our goal of bringing 3D printing to production environments through closely integrated solutions, combining materials, software and hardware. As metal 3D printing extends to production environments, issues of quality control, integrated workflows, and process know-how become more critical in the supply chain. This investment in LPW is part of our strategic decision to strengthen our knowledge and expertise in metal additive manufacturing, in which we are already active today via Stratasys Direct Manufacturing.”