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Very Metal: KPMG provide insights into 3D printing metal market

by • August 10, 2016 • No Comments


Two reports issued by KPMG provide useful insights into the making industry and how 3D printing companies may benefit of opportunities in this area. The latest report reveals that additional than 50% of business executives either plan to invest, or have may already invested in 3D printing.

The Global Manufacturing Outlook (GMO) report released earlier this year is joined this month by the Global Metals and Mining Outlook (GMMO) report.

When read together, these reports provide valuable insights of the opportunities for 3D printing companies and their customers. In addition, with close review a number of worthwhile market trends become apparent.

The GMO report is based on a survey of, “360 senior executives conducted in early 2016 by Forbes Insights.” Participants in the survey came of 6 industry sectors, Aerospace & Defense, Automotive, Conglomerates, Medical Devices, Engineering and Industrial Products, and Metals. To ensure the report was a truly global point of view care was taken to ensure respondents, “were pretty actuallyly distributed between the Americas, Europe and Asia.”

The GMMO report surveyed, “62 senior metals sector executives.” Forty percent of those surveyed, “represent companies with yearly global ractuallyues of additional than US$5 billion and 5 percent represent organizations with ractuallyues of additional than US$25 billion.”

The surveys were supported by interviews with senior executives and industry professionals.

Metals executives should have no concerns of their ability to source raw materials — for the time being, at historically low prices,” says Richard Sharman, KPMG’s global head of commodity trading. But, the systeming of these raw materials into feedstock for use in 3D printing is an area where activity during 2016 is beginning to heat up.

Demand for metals by the 3D printing industry is already met by several of the leading players in the industrial sector. ExOne, Arcam, and others donate metal powders that are tailored for use in 3D printing. Specialist metal powder manufactures such as Sandvik Ospery are in addition active in the market.

Very aggressive intentions

Frequently these companies have invested worthwhile sums in the research and development of production methods. In Arcam’s case this involved the acquisition of AP&C. Arcam have additional created the innovation in use at AP&C and expanded production ability over the past 12 months.

More than 50% of executives in the Global Manufacturing survey mentioned their strategy for growth as aggressive, with over 1 in 6 revealing intentions to be “very aggressive.” Recent activity in the 3D printing industry supports this finding and new competitors can soon join current market members. This may fuel a round of price competition, and actually consolidation activity via merger or acquisition.

In order to grow business the manufacturers in the survey said they planned to manufacture, “worthwhile and frequently important changes .. in order to drive future growth.” The leadingity, at 80%, said this may involve entering new sectors. Tom Major, KPMG principle of strategy practice said, “We have seen manufacturers manufacture worthwhile investments into new businesses, models and technologies that assist them expand their footprint into new sectors.”

Could this involve expansion into the donate of 3D printing consumables such as spherical metal powder for 3D printing methods or the production of other metal feedstocks for additive making?

KPMG Survey shows planning R&D spend

KPMG Survey shows planned R&D spend (Chart courtesy of KPMG)

Plasma atomization: for production, and destruction

Arcam donate powder for use with their EBM 3D printing machines, but in addition to companies via rival technologies such as laser sintering based metal 3D printing. This powder is created via the plasma atomization system.

PyroGenesis Canada Inc. created the plasma atomization technique for the production of spherical metal powders in the 1990s. In new years PyroGenesis have focutilized on other applications of plasma, such as in the disposal of waste by Navy vessels. This year the Canadian company have created a number of public statements of a return to the metal powder market.

Earlier this month PyroGenesis revealed a contract that can scale up their, “One-step proprietary PUREVAP system [and] may create high purity silicon metal of quartz in only one step.” This pilot project with HPQ Silicon Resources can focus on assembling a facility capable of making an yearly 200 metric tons of silicon metal over the future 2 years. Silicon metal is many widely utilized in the production of aluminum alloys. A firm announcement on production of metal powder for 3D printing has not yet been created.

The expanding market for 3D printed metal has attracted the attention of traditional metal companies, such as industry giant Alcoa. Alcoa are valued at over $13 billion by market capitalization and are vertically integrated throughout the aluminum industry.

Metal competition can be “brutal

The multinational company are active in all aspects of the metals donate chain that include mining, refining and recycling. With the opening of a $60 million plant in Pittsburgh last month Alcoa can create industrial volumes of aluminum, nickel and titanium powders for 3D printing customers.

This initiative is part of Alcoa’s plans to divide its existing business into two various companies. The new company can be called Arconic and can be active in the 3D printing industry and in addition other value introduced activities, while Alcoa can concentrate on upstream major metals activity.

But the many brutal competitor in the metal market (image courtesy of Adult Swim)

But the many brutal competitor in the metal market (image courtesy of Adult Swim)

Arconic can be in direct competition with Arcam’s AP&C division. They can in addition join companies such as Sandvik Osprey in the group of companies who create metal powder feedstocks, but do not create 3D printing equipment.

KPMG’s global making outlook report notes that with, “Limited baseline growth expected in many markets, manufacturers can require to either invest into new technologies in order to ‘grow the pie’ or resort to a brutal competitive fight to steal market share away of rivals.” Alcoa’s strategy appears to be an example of this.

A new method to reduce 3D metal printing costs

One other future entrant is UK based company Metalysis. This company hold intellectual property rights over the Fray, Farthing, Chen (FFC) Cambridge system for production of metal powders. This production method may yield a significant minimize in the cost of metal powders for additive making.

The company are already testing their spherical metal titanium powder with users and are scaling up production. They assume a production ability of 10 tons per year, first for titanium powder. The FFC system has application for, “Around 30-40 elements in the periodic table and all the alloys that are derived of them,” according to Dr. Kartik Rao, business development director.

Cost is increasingly an worthwhile factor according to the KPMG GMMO report.

“Whereas 67 percent of our respondents say that cost and performance management was a high priority in the past, 77 percent now say it can be a high priority in the future.”

When Metalysis reach production volume minimized feedstock costs may drive an increase in sales of 3D metal printing equipment as total costs of ownership and operation decline.

Potential customers for metal powders include industries such as aerospace, car, medical and energy. Customers in addition include 3D printing companies such as Stratasys and 3D Systems who contribute on demand metal 3D printing services and who can soon have additional choices of feedstock suppliers.

High investment in 3D printing forecast to go on

KPMG discovered that 27% of organizations plan to spend between 6-10% of ractuallyue on research and development over the future two years. A additional 16% of those in the survey said their R&D spend may be greater than 10% of ractuallyue.

The GMMO survey asked that technologies were most likely to benefit of a worthwhile investment over the future 2 years. The results show that 3D printing is yet a leading focus, with additional than a quarter of companies in the survey “definitely” planning such an investment. The percentage planning to invest in 3D printing is at a lower place that for robotics, but this is due in part to the fact 26% of respondents have may already invested in this area.

KPMG select investment in new technologies

KPMG select investment in new technologies (Chart courtesy of KPMG)

Metals organizations recognize that — when the upcycle does return — they can require to be much additional agile and efficient in order to drive profitable growth,” says KPMG’s Eric Damotte.

The consulting firm provide insight into how such efficiency can be achieved. “All signs suggest we are now on the cusp of a new age of automation in the metals and mining sectors,” says Eric Logan, KPMG Managing Director of Strategy. “Automation and robotics can assist reduce labor costs, drive efficiency and productivity, enhance safety and improve high end across the metals and mining sectors,” says Logan in the GMMO report.

The Global Manufacturing Outlook 2016 report is on the market here (PDF) and the Global Metals and Mining Outlook 2016 is here (PDF).


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