SLM Solutions Group AG, a provider of metal-based additive manufacturing (AM) technology, plans to create a joint venture with PKM Future Holding GmbH, the main shareholder of TLS Technik GmbH & Co, to develop and distribute aluminum alloys for metal-based AM systems.

According to the contract, SLM Solutions intends to acquire 51% of the share capital of the joint venture.

‘Alongside research and development, as well as distribution and service, the planned expansion of our metallic powder business was to represent a decisive building block,’ said SLM Solutions' CFO Uwe Bögershausen. ‘We are pleased to have now found the right partner in PKM, enabling us to offer our customers tailored solutions in the consumables area. Together with TLS's main share-holder, we will invest a mid-range, single-digit million euro amount to this end.’

‘We are starting off with aluminum, an important material for us, and we are planning – along with actual production – to also implement refining steps for the powder,’ CEO Dr Markus Rechlin added.

Attractive margins

The company is planning a total production capacity of more than 100 tonnes of aluminum powder per year for additive manufacturing purposes and aims to offer other materials than aluminum at a later point in time.

SLM Solutions intends to include the powder business within a separate organisational unit, together with further services for the AM of metal components such as training, consulting and financing.

‘By generating continuous sales over the course of the year, expanding the powder business should help us offset the strong seasonality of our system business,’ Uwe Bögershausen said. ‘Over and beyond this, the consumables area is also interesting for us due to the fact that attractive margins can be achieved through developing and marketing metallic powders.’

This story is reprinted from material from SLMwith editorial changes made by Materials Today. The views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent those of Elsevier.