Meltio, the Spanish authentic gear producer (OEM) of directed power deposition (DED) metallic additive manufacturing (AM) platforms, introduced the launch of the corporate’s newest product providing, the Meltio Robotic Cell. Combining the Meltio Engine DED head with an ABB robotic arm (as the usual mannequin), the Robotic Cell is designed to be used in managed industrial environments, i.e., it isn’t meant for ahead deployment.
The Meltio Robotic Cell is a plug and play system, which ought to give the platform a leg-up in interesting to new prospects. Meltio lately introduced that the corporate has began promoting its merchandise in India, with its first official gross sales companion being IRTI Robotics, headquartered in Pune.
In my submit about that announcement, I identified the importance of Pune to Indian manufacturing, and particularly, the auto sector in India. The present prevalence of robotic arms for auto manufacturing purposes could make for a neater transition for employees studying about AM for the primary time, by comparability with different AM applied sciences.
Though, as I discussed above, the Meltio Robotic Cell just isn’t meant for ahead deployment, Meltio has completely put in a model of its know-how on a US Navy vessel, the USS Bataan. The system built-in into the USS Bataan makes use of a Meltio hybrid system that’s built-in right into a CNC, relatively than the Meltio Robotic Cell, which depends on an ABB robotic arm.
Moreover, the corporate that developed the core know-how for the Meltio Engine, the Florida-based OEM ADDiTEC, got here out with a robotic cell for ahead deployment within the spring of 2023, round 6 months after releasing a robotic cell for industrial environments. Thus, it’s logical to anticipate that Meltio may additionally be engaged on a platform for ahead deployment.
This additionally raises the query of why ADDiTEC and Meltio function as separate corporations (Meltio began as a three way partnership between ADDiTEC and Spanish firm Sicnova). There could also be no reply to this apart from that it merely displays how the AM sector has unfolded during the last a number of years. That’s, there are extra development alternatives accessible for metallic AM corporations within the US than there have been in 2019, when Meltio launched: whereas, as lately as 5 years in the past, it could not have appeared viable to ADDiTEC to function as a robotic arm 3D printing OEM within the US, now it apparently does.
There are additionally potential different explanations, nonetheless, as an example, that it was a deliberate long-term divide and conquer technique, which means the businesses may have left the door open to merge in some unspecified time in the future sooner or later. Which will appear unnecessarily convoluted, however the underlying know-how is outwardly of excessive precedence to the US navy, which might make the convolution probably needed. The know-how driving the primary metallic 3D printer to be completely put in on a US Navy vessel is presumably considered by the US authorities as very important to nationwide safety, and it hasn’t been straightforward to maintain American manufacturing IP within the US! American deep tech startups go bankrupt on a regular basis and lose precious IP to China. Once more, I’m not saying that is what occurred, but when one was involved that metallic DED heads designed for attachment to robotic arms is perhaps troublesome to maintain contained in the US home economic system due to lack of demand, making certain that the know-how was additionally creating concurrently in a NATO member like Spain would in that case look like an inexpensive risk-reduction plan.
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