Carpenter Technology Corporation has completed a takeover of LPW Technology.
A company that provides advanced metal powders and powder lifecycle management services, LPW Technology is based in the United Kingdom.
The company has a decade-long history of providing an extensive range of metal powders, along with the necessary testing and traceability of how these powders react during additive manufacturing.
Carpenter Technology is an industry leader with respect to producing high performance and specialty alloy-based materials. The company provides materials and solutions to companies in the aerospace, defense, energy, industrial, transportation and medical sectors.
With a history of more than 100 years, Carpenter has always been at the forefront of innovation related to premium specialty alloys such as titanium, cobalt, and nickel. The company has recently ventured into additive manufacturing.
Carpenter, LPW and Additive Manufacturing
The deal to acquire LPW will cost Carpenter $81 million. The Welsh-based company has an employee roster of around 80 people. When asked about the takeover, Carpenter’s President and CEO Tony Thene spoke about the company’s commitment to additive manufacturing.
As LPW deals with lifecycle manufacturing technology, its research can be very valuable to Carpenter. Lifecycle management is important in understanding how specific materials would behave during and after the powder-bed fusion process. And this ability to understand powder behavior is vital given the increased implementation of additive manufacturing in various industries.
Metal powder is not an easy substance to handle. While industries have extensive knowledge and experience regarding the behavior of various metal alloys in traditional manufacturing, much is still being learned about additive manufacturing.
When it comes to 3D printing, metals are reduced to a powder state for easier manipulation. It ensures good flow and a uniform build. Having the metal in a powder state also means cleaner microstructures and lower inclusion levels in the final product.
A company such as Carpenter only wants to increase its role within the additive manufacturing industry. The company recognizes that additive manufacturing is the future, with industries such as aerospace and medicine already benefiting hugely from cheaper, lighter parts that are 3D printed.
Being able to understand how powders will behave before, during and after additive manufacturing is crucial to building the types of sturdy, light and mission-critical products and accessories that Carpenter’s clients demand.
Host of Acquisitions
The move to acquire LPW is not the only step in Carpenter’s larger foray into additive manufacturing.
Carpenter recently made moves to acquire titanium powders producer Puris. Another move saw them takeover CalRAM, a company that led the way in electron beam and laser powder-bed fusion additive manufacturing services.
The company has also built a new Emerging Technology Center in Athens, Alabama, which is another sign of its commitment to making additive manufacturing a cornerstone of its future business.
Additive Manufacturing – Global Growth
Witnessing a company such as Carpenter, which has 1.8 billion revenue and a 129-year history in manufacturing, leading the way with additive manufacturing is an important milestone.
Moreover, it underscores the overall market trend, which is indicating that additive manufacturing will grow at a substantial rate in the coming decade. The most conservative estimates suggest a 15 percent growth in the next five to seven years.
The industry-specific growth is expected to be even greater, with 34 and 51 percent growth in 3D printing anticipated for the automotive and aerospace sectors respectively.
There was a time when many questioned the value of additive manufacturing on an industrial scale. Now that companies such as Carpenter are getting involved, it is clear that 3D printing is the future of manufacturing metal-based products for industries around the world.