Prima Power Enters Market for Additive Manufacturing
At the beginning of October, Prima Power hosted the first Innovation Day at its headquarters in Collegno (Italy). More than 160 guests from 20 countries followed the invitation.
During the event, new laser-based, application-oriented technologies for the aerospace industry were presented. These solutions will further expand the application range of Prima Power's Laserdyne products, especially for welding, the company announced.
The Group also introduced its new Prima Additive brand, which focuses on complete solutions for metal powder bed fusion and direct metal deposition technologies as well as application support and comprehensive services. The opening took place during Innovation Day, dedicated to innovative laser-based metalworking technologies, at the company's headquarters and Tech Center in Collegno (TO).
Prima Additive joins the Prima Industrie Group as the third division, which already includes Prima Power (laser and sheet metal processing machines) and Prima Electro (laser sources and industrial electronics). The group has a turnover of € 450 million and employs more than 1,800 people worldwide. Prima Industrie has a broad product portfolio consisting of 2D and 3D laser systems, punching and combined machines, break forming presses and bending machines as well as automation systems with over 13,000 installations all over the world. The laser product range accounts for more than 35 % of total sales, with more than 25 % contributed by 3D laser systems.
Laser for Material Processing
With the new Prima Additive brand, Prima Industry officially enters the innovative and fast growing market of additive manufacturing for metallic workpieces, estimated at a volume of $ 7.3 billion worldwide in 2017, with an average annual growth rate of 22 % in recent years.
The goal of the new Prima Additives division is to continuously innovate in the field of laser technology for materials processing and its main objective is to promote the industry by reducing barriers to additive manufacturing, the company says. Prima Additive can also help customers design and build their prototype in their Application Center, they say.
Prima Additive's product range will cover both additive manufacturing technologies: powder bed fusion (PBF) and direct metal deposition (DMD). The technological principle of the PBF process is layer-by-layer production: the laser source generates thermal energy that melts the powder material, which then solidifies as it cools. The workpiece is produced layer by layer. This technology is mainly used for components with complex geometries required by industries such as aerospace, biomedicine, prototyping, spare parts, foundries, motor sports and the automotive industry in general, says Prima Power.
The technological principle of the DMD process is based on a high process speed: the laser source generates thermal energy to melt the powder metal sprayed into the focal point of the laser beam so that the molten powder is applied to the component. This process is particularly suitable for adding components to existing workpieces e.g. for adaptation, coating and repair in areas such as oil and gas, tool making and casting, the company continues.
The additional department will have a new home which is currently under construction at the headquarters of Prima Industrie. According to Prima Power, the investment for this facility amounts to just under € 6 million and the investments for innovative R&D activities were largely made within the framework of national and European research projects.
Gianfranco Carbonato, President of Prima Industrie Group, commented at the event: “I’m particularly proud to introduce the first Innovation Day and to present this new brand, because it reinforces the pioneering spirit and the legacy of innovation of our Group. Back in the Seventies, we followed our vision and we entered the market of laser machines for industrial applications that was just at its beginning, and it was a winning choice. Today we are witnessing the developing of these new applications of laser to metal working and their disruptive potential. It is a fascinating new manufacturing paradigm, and we are ready to help our customers seizing these business opportunities.”
This article was first published by MM MaschinenMarkt
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