UK - June this year witnessed HRH The Duke of Gloucester officially open LPW Technology's £20 million metal powder production facility in Widnes close to Liverpool.
Employees, engineers, entrepreneurs and business leaders from the global AM industry joined guests from the local area to celebrate the official opening of LPW Technology's £20-million metal powder production facility, a 90,000 sq.ft. (9,700 m²) building spread on a seven-acre site, by HRH The Duke of Gloucester. The manufacturer of ultra-clean additive manufacturing (AM) metal powders and powder traceability solutions for the metal 3D-printing industry was founded in 2007 by CEO Dr Phil Carroll.
LPW says its vision “Understand Additive Manufacturing from the perspective of the metal powder” has allowed it to build the facility dedicated to AM, while quality control is ensured through complete digital integration of processes and a focus on contamination control throughout.
According to LPW, the factory houses a variety of powder production equipment known as atomisers, which melt feedstock at approximately 1,700ºC. The molten metal is then converted into fine grade metal powder used to 3D print parts for critical applications in aerospace, automotive and biomedical industries. The factory has been designed to engineer out contamination. Separate cells, protected by air-locks and operating as clean rooms, enable clear segregation of materials. The facility is fully equipped with the company's Powder-Life, metal powder lifecycle tracking system, to ensure that materials are strictly controlled - from raw materials to customer sites.
In addition to manufacturing AM metal powder, LPW houses material-testing equipment to fully characterise metal powders and 3D printers to develop next-generation materials for AM. The unique portfolio of atomisation processes, range of AM metal powders and Powder-Solve industry 4.0 process software has been developed by LPW to increase material yield and ultimately reduce risk throughout the AM process.
Halton Borough Council Leader Cllr Rob Polhill said: “It is very uplifting to see LPW, whom the Borough has supported in its development of this site, deliver for UK Manufacturing.”
“As LPW moves confidently into this next stage of our growth plan, we place immense value on our exceptional employees who are making this possible. I’m extremely grateful for the support received from Halton Borough Council and the UK government’s Advanced Manufacturing Supply Chain Initiative (AMSCI),” Dr Carroll added.