FOMAS Group, a producer of forgings and seamless rolled rings, has agreed with Inteco Group to produce metal powders for additive manufacturing from two plants, one in the U.S. and one near the FOMAS headquarters in Osnago, Italy. Their joint announcement did not indicate the value of their capital investment but it reported that their trademarked product, MIMETE®, would be available for purchase in 2018.
The U.S. operation will be located at Thermal Technology LLC in Santa Rosa, CA, an INTECO subsidiary that develops laboratory- and production-scale furnaces for melting, refining, and sintering. The two metal powder plants will be identical, based on a “next generation” powder production system developed by INTECO and capable of “new possibilities in terms of powder production compared to the existing technology available on the market.”
MIMETE powders will be available in established grades as well as “highly specialized powders, … customized and developed for the market demands and in close cooperation with the customer(s).” The products will be marketed to manufacturers of biomedical instruments, power generation, aerospace, and motorsports.
“This agreement will be instrumental in entering the additive manufacturing markets,” according to Dr. Jacopo Guzzoni, v.p. and CEO of FOMAS. “It will exploit synergies between our two companies and bring on the market a worldwide offer; it will be a structured process, powered by the achievements shared between us.”
FOMAS has manufacturing operations in Italy, China, France, and India, as well as the U.S. FOMAS Inc. in York, SC (previously Ajax Rolled Ring & Machine) produces seamless rolled rings from 8 to 120 in. diameter, for gearmaking, energy systems, construction equipment, and various industrial market applications.
In the announcement of the new venture, FOMAS is reported to have been developing metal powder technologies “over the past years.”
Inteco is a developer of process technology and systems for liquid treatment of steel, ferroalloys and super alloys. In addition to electric arc and ladle metallurgy furnaces, its capabilities include vacuum melting and refining furnaces, electroslag remelting furnaces, etc.
The announcement also linked the operation of the MIMETE venture to Industry 4.0, the concept of data exchange between manufacturers at the production level, theoretically to optimize process and product quality and to achieve “digital manufacturing” that is highly responsive and resource efficient.
“This cooperation will set new standards on the metal powder market by elevating quality and the degree of customization available,” according to Dr. Harald Holzgruber, INTECO Group managing director.