Siemens to invest £27m in new 3D-printing factory

Siemens UK is to make a £27 million investment in a new, state-of-the-art manufacturing facility for Worcester-based Materials Solutions Ltd, its additive manufacturing specialist. The new building, set to open in September 2018, will enable it to increase the company’s fleet of 3D printing machines from 15 to 50 over the next five years.

The new facility will be located at the Worcester Six Business Park Development. The expansion of the business is also expected to support the creation of around 55 high quality new jobs, increasing Materials Solutions’ team of world class engineers, metallurgists and manufacturing specialists to 80 – and making it a global centre of excellence within the Additive Manufacturing sector. The new facility will also be a focal point for collaboration between Materials Solutions and the already sizeable UK Siemens Digital Factory division.

Materials Solutions is a pioneer in the use of Selective Laser Melting (SLM) technology for the manufacture of high-performance metal parts and has grown its business considerably over the last two years, offering engineering and printing services up to the complete manufacturing of parts for the aviation industry, the automotive industry, power generation and motor sports. Siemens acquired 85 percent of the business in 2016.

“This significant investment underlines our belief that there is huge potential for innovation and growth within the Additive Manufacturing sector. It is also the next step towards achieving our ambition of pioneering the industrialisation of 3D printing and demonstrates how we are leading the way in the Fourth Industrial Revolution,” said Juergen Maier, Siemens UK CEO. “If the UK’s manufacturing sector is to grow and thrive, we must embrace digital technologies and build new industries based on them. Our vision and ambition for Materials Solutions perfectly represents how we are putting this strategy into practice.”

Phil Hatherley, General Manager of Materials Solutions, said: “Our Worcester-based team are specialists in using Additive Manufacturing technology to solve complex engineering challenges for our customers across a range of sectors including aerospace, automotive and power generation. Our new facility will give us the space and scope to continue to innovate for these specialist and demanding industries and achieve a shift in the perception of 3D printing from being a technology associated with prototyping to a viable option for the serial production of additively-manufactured parts. We were incredibly proud to have achieved a world first last year – the production of a successfully tested 3D printed gas turbine blade – and I believe our new factory will facilitate similar achievements for our customers operating in other highly demanding environments, allowing us to maintain our position at the leading edge of this incredibly exciting industry.”

The investment won the praise of Business Secretary Greg Clark, who said, “The investment being made by Siemens into UK advanced manufacturing demonstrates the confidence businesses have in our industrial strategy. Innovation is at the heart of the future of UK manufacturing and this factory will produce a game-changing technology that has the potential to transform the UK’s industrial base, demonstrating industry backing of the approach set out in Made Smarter (the review chaired by Juergen Maier) and making the sector even more productive and competitive in global markets.”

Materials Solutions was founded in 2006, and is a pioneer in the use of Selective Laser Melting (SLM) technology for the manufacture of high-performance metal parts, with a focus on high-temperature super alloys. As a result, it has developed proven applications, know-how and a supply chain for some of the world’s most advanced engineering companies operating in a broad range of industries. The company also works closely with Siemens’ Power & Gas Division and it is anticipated that, thanks to its expanded footprint, it will manufacture thousands of parts for use in Siemens power generation equipment over the coming years.