ThyssenKrupp is one of the largest industrial companies in Europe, supplying thousands of tons of both metal and plastic products to customers and making everything from submarines to elevators. Now, the German industrial group has announced it will open a 3D printing center this year to manufacture parts and products for customers.
“We have decided … to establish our own 3D printing center. We have invested already into the machines. We have invested already in the people—they are there. They are already producing,” said Hans-Josef Hoss, an executive board member of ThyssenKrupp Materials Services division, in a speech at global industrial fair Hannover Messe. “We start from the engineering side and deliver the final product with all aftersales and related services.”
The new center will open in September and will produce both plastic and metal parts.
In opening an additive manufacturing facility, ThyssenKrupp joins other major manufacturers like Alcoa (which has opened a new powder facility near Pittsburgh), French company VHM Fonderie, and BAE Systems.
That same week at Hannover Messe, General Electric announced it would invest 100 million euros in a German 3D printing acquisition in Lichtenfels, as well as opening a 3D printing customer center in Munich. The funds will help expand the operations of Concept Laser, which GE bought last year. GE also acquired Swedish 3D printer manufacturer Arcam last year.
At the event, GE additive chief Mohammad Ehteshami outlined the company’s plans for the technology in aviation. “I have a belief that you’ll be able to print the whole jet engine” he told reporters.
ThyssenKrupp has 670 subsidiaries, operates in 80 countries, and is one of the largest steel producers in the world.