Optomec Acquires Huffman, Improves Market Reach

Optomec has acquired Huffman to improve metal 3D printing market reach in the energy and aviation industries and widen the use of Directed Energy Deposition (DED), a form of metal 3D printing that both companies offer.

Optomec has acquired Huffman, partnering its production-grade additive manufacturing (AM) solutions with Huffman’s metal 3D printing systems and software for additive repair in order to obtain a broader market reach.

Both companies deliver a form of metal 3D printing known as directed energy deposition (DED), trademarked as Laser Engineered Net Shaping (LENS) in Optomec’s case. LENS is able to print full parts at a fraction of the time and cost of powder-bed fusion or selective laser melting, but with better material and mechanical properties, according to the company. Additionally, the process enables the addition of metal to existing parts for repair and coating applications that extend the useful life of components. Major manufacturers of aircraft engines and industrial gas turbines use Huffman’s equipment and software for its metal deposition capabilities to restore components at substantially lower cost than newly-made spare parts.

“The opportunity for additive manufacturing in repair applications is often overlooked, but when you consider that corrosion and wear cost the U.S. economy $300 billion per year, and that the global commercial aviation industry spends almost $100 billion annually on repair, you can get a better sense of the magnitude of these markets,” says David Ramahi, president and CEO of Optomec. “With the Huffman acquisition, we aim to expand the use of DED/LENS repair for the existing installed base of more than 100,000 gas turbines and engines, while also leveraging that expertise to drive greater adoption of cost-effective repairs for mainstream industrial applications.”

With the addition of Huffman, Optomec gains more product portfolios and technical expertise. The acquisition combines Optomec’s horizontal market reach, across a wide range of industries and hundreds of customers, with Huffman’s deep penetration in the gas turbine market.

“Optomec’s innovative and affordable solutions in this space, combined with the robust, production-friendly equipment and intuitive user interfaces provided by Huffman are sure to enable new leaps in free-form additive manufacturing for repairs, new part build and hybrid manufacturing,” says Christopher E. Thompson, general manager of product service at GE Power.

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