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Two Purchases Support ExOne Co.’s Integration Effort

March 10, 2014
Microwave treatment for bonded sand Design-to-finish additive manufacturing service Accelerating adoption of industrial 3D

3D printing specialist ExOne Company announced two acquisitions recently, adding midstream technology and downstream production capability in the continuing effort to establish an “integrated” additive manufacturing group.

“We believe that vertically integrating the processes surrounding additive manufacturing will help to accelerate the adoption cycle for 3D printing in the industrial market place,” according to David Burns, president and chief operating officer. “These acquisitions represent critical post-print processes that are components of the 3D printing value chain.” 

ExOne develops and supplies three-dimensional printing machines and printed products to industrial customers.

One area of continuing development for ExOne is sand core production, and now it expects its purchase of MWT - Gesellschaft für Industrielle Mikrowellentechnik mbH (“MWT”) will enhance its portfolio of capabilities for those 3D printing applications.  It said it paid approximately $4.8 million in cash for the company, which is based in Elz, Germany.

MWT develops and manufactures industrial-grade microwave systems that are used in thermal processing of bonded sand, including sand treated with phenolic bonders.

ExOne noted that the microwave treatment improves casting quality and reduces production costs in specific applications, such as casting magnesium parts for aerospace markets or steel alloy parts for hydraulic systems. 

MWT designs and manufactures equipment that ExOne uses in its own production service centers, and it plans to offer this technology to customers in the future. The microwave operation will be integrated with ExOne’s Augsburg, Germany, manufacturing operations. 

In a separate purchase ExOne paid approximately $5.0 million for the assets of Machin-A-Mation, a specialty machine shop in Chesterfield, MI.

ExOne said Machin-A-Mation’s capabilities fit well with its ExCast strategy, which offers “design to finish” additive manufacturing of complex parts for industrial customers.

Machin-A-Mation will remain in its current location, complementing ExOne’s nearby production service center in Troy, MI. This PSC focuses on advanced 3D printed cores and molds for the aerospace and shipbuilding industries.

ExOne said it expects to expand Machin-A-Mation current service to industrial customers. 

“In the manufacture of precision parts, there are several steps to completion,” Burns explained. “Machin-A-Mation’s specialty precision machining expertise helps us address the finishing requirements for complex parts which are cast from our 3D printed sand molds. The addition of the capabilities of both MWT and Machin-A-Mation enable us to better satisfy the needs of our growing industrial customer base in a more comprehensive manner.”

About the Author

Robert Brooks | Content Director

Robert Brooks has been a business-to-business reporter, writer, editor, and columnist for more than 20 years, specializing in the primary metal and basic manufacturing industries. His work has covered a wide range of topics, including process technology, resource development, material selection, product design, workforce development, and industrial market strategies, among others. Currently, he specializes in subjects related to metal component and product design, development, and manufacturing — including castings, forgings, machined parts, and fabrications.

Brooks is a graduate of Kenyon College (B.A. English, Political Science) and Emory University (M.A. English.)