Pyrogenesis to ramp up 3D printable metal powder production in Q1
By Design Engineering staffAdditive Manufacturing Metal Fabrication PyroGenesis
Canadian plasma-to-waste systems firm to spin off metal powder business by year’s end.
PyroGenesis Canada announced that the Montreal-based plasma waste-to-energy systems firm is on track to have its first 3D printable metal powder production system up and running by the end of Q1 2017. Shortly after receiving the new machine’s reactor and feeder, both expected by late February, the company says its first powder run will begin in the last week of March. Ramping up to full capacity will follow of the next four months, the company says.
While the company had previously sold the material to the biomedical industry, PyroGenesis says its additive manufacturing segment is close to producing these very small, uniform and spherical powders of pure titanium and pure and Ti-6Al-4V for the additive manufacturing industry. As market needs evolve, the company says it will produce additional powders and/or products.
In addition, the company says it foresees spinning off its metal additive manufacturing powders business by the end of 2017. Since it first announced it intent to enter the AM powder business a year ago, PyroGenesis says a number of industry consolidations have sharpened its resolve.
Foremost of these was GE’s acquisition of Arcam and its subsidiary, AP&C, which produced powders using PyroGenesis’ old proprietary technology. Due to a non-compete agreement with AP&C, which precluded PyroGenesis from producing its own powders until 2012, Arcam was able to become the dominant supplier of speciality powders in the AM industry.
“GE’s acquisition of Arcam, and by extension AP&C, has arguably disrupted the supply chain of speciality powders in the Additive Manufacturing Industry, and furthermore, effectively caused end users of such powders to re-examine their access to them, all while PyroGenesis is reentering the market as a supplier of powders,” said PyroGenesis President and CEO, Peter Pascali, in a press release issued in January.
Since then, PyroGensis says it has substantial improved its patented powder production process. According to its estimates, each of systems could generate up to $12 million in revenues with a 40% gross margin. By doubling capacity every year to 2020, the company estimates it could capture approximately 10 percent of projected demand for metal powders. According to market estimates, global demand for AM metal powders will grow to more than US$1 billion by 2021.