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Oerlikon to Build Advanced Materials Manufacturing Facility in Michigan

By Oerlikon
Oerlikon’s headquarters in Pfaeffikon, Switzerland.

Pfäffikon, Schwyz, Switzerland – Oerlikon announced today that it will be building a new state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Plymouth Township, Michigan, USA, dedicated to producing advanced materials for additive manufacturing and high-end surface coatings. This investment is another key step in Oerlikon’s strategy to become a powerhouse in surface solutions and advanced materials, and will serve to accelerate the industrialization of additive manufacturing. The new facility will extend and strengthen Oerlikon’s materials capabilities in order to respond to the increasing demand for advanced and new materials for industrial applications.

Oerlikon expects the demand for advanced materials for additive manufacturing to increase rapidly in the coming years, making it one of the key growth areas in metal-based additive manufacturing. The new facility will produce the latest materials, such as advanced titanium alloys for the additive manufacturing market and certain high-end thermal spray powders. The site will be fully equipped with next-generation VIGA technology, which combines vacuum induction melting with inert gas atomization systems. VIGA is one of the most versatile methods for processing a variety of metals and alloys into powders, and offers improved process efficiency and yields. In addition, the facility will house a state-of-the-art research & development (R&D) lab for further developments of titanium and other alloys (e.g. nickel, copper, iron and cobalt), for joint R&D projects with customers, and have the ability to produce customized powders in small batches.

In the first phase, Oerlikon plans to invest approximately USD 50 million in the facility. The Group has the option of further expanding and developing the site to meet customers’ demands. The new facility complements Oerlikon Metco’s existing site in Troy, Michigan, where advanced materials for surface solutions are produced. The Group expects to initially employ approximately 70 staff in Plymouth Township, which is known as a high-tech corridor, where many leading industrial research facilities are based. The facility is expected to be operational by the end of 2017.

Dr. Roland Fischer, CEO of the Oerlikon Group, said: “We intend to take a leading position in the industrialization of additive manufacturing and are convinced that the facility in Plymouth Township will ignite this ambition. This investment marks an important step in our plans to grow our strong presence in North America, and is a key milestone for us to become a leading service provider for the fast-expanding additive manufacturing market. I would like to thank the Michigan Business Development Program for their support, and we look forward to becoming part of this community.”

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