First Ricoh 3D printer to support high functional materials now available in Europe
Businesses across Euro...
Read our interview with Peter Williams, Executive VP of Ricoh Europe, in the March issue of the Manufacturing Global magazine.
Businesses across Europe can accelerate their manufacturing innovation programmes following the European launch of Ricoh’s first high-end 3D printer. As announced by the technology specialist last year, availability was set for mid-2016, but has been brought forward based on strong market interest.
The RICOH AM S5500P is a high-quality product designed to help businesses meet their specific manufacturing needs and offers PA and PP materials support, which are of strategic importance to manufacturers, particularly those in the automotive industry.
The Ricoh AM S5500P is available now in the UK, Germany, Italy, Spain, Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands.
The generous build size enables the manufacture of large components in one build and the production of multiple parts in a single run. The smart re-coater feeds new powder from both sides of the feed cartridge in order to provide consistently denser and high quality parts. The system contains numerous support mechanisms which contributes to its high reliability, whilst the printer comes with Ricoh's own pre-configured settings for use with Ricoh approved materials. Via the systems software, the user can develop their own parameters to suit the application with access to all settings.
The RICOH AM S5500P employs an additive manufacturing method known as SLS.It supports a range of high functional materials, automobile manufacturers, for example, can create multiple functional parts simultaneously in order to run a test drive.
Peter Williams, Executive Vice President, Ricoh Europe, said: “The availability of the RICOH AM S5500P and relevant end-to-end services means that European businesses now have a single point of contact for everything related to additive manufacturing. This makes it easier for them to understand and deploy an additive manufacturing solution that can help improve their efficiency, productivity and entry to new business areas. Given the relative fragmentation of the market this is a significant development, as the printing of working parts on demand and the creation of prototypes enables businesses to meet their evolving manufacturing innovation needs.”
Follow @ManufacturingGL and @NellWalkerMG
IMF: Variants Can Still Hurt Manufacturing Recovery
After a year of on-and-off manufacturing in the US, UK, and the eurozone, demand for goods surged early last week. Factories set growth records in April and May, suppliers started to recover, and US crude hit its highest price point since pre-COVID. As vaccination efforts immunise much of the US and UK populations, manufacturers are now able to fully ramp up their supply chains. In fact, GDP growth could approach double-digits by 2022.
Now, the ISM productivity measure has surpassed the 50-point mark that separates industry expansion from contraction. Since U.S. president Biden passed his US$1.9tn stimulus package and the UK purchasing managers index (PMI) increased to 65.6, both sides of the Atlantic are facing a much-welcomed manufacturing recovery.
Lingering Concerns Over COVID
Even as Spain, France, Italy, and Germany race to catch up, and mining companies pushed the FTSE 100 index of list shares to a monthly high of 7,129, some say that UK and US markets still suffer from a lack of confidence in raw material supplies. Yes, the Dow Jones has made up its 19,173-point crash of March 2020, and MSCI’s global stock index is at an all-time high.
Yet manufacturers around the world realise that these wins will be short-lived until pandemic supply chain bottlenecks are solved. If we keep the status quo, consumers will pay the price. In April, inflation in Germany reached 2.4%, and across the EU’s 19 member countries, overall prices have increased at an unusual pace. Some ask: Is this true recovery?
IMF: Current Boom Could Falter
Even as Elon Musk tweeted about chip shortages forcing Tesla to raise its prices, UK mining demand skyrocketed; housing markets lifted; and the pound sterling gained value. The International Monetary Fund (IMF), however, cautioned that manufacturing recovery won’t last long if COVID mutates into forms our vaccinations can’t touch. Kristalina Georgieva, Washington’s IMF director, noted that fewer than 1% of African citizens have been vaccinated: “Worldwide access to vaccines offers the best hope for stopping the coronavirus pandemic, saving lives, and securing a broad-based economic recovery”.
Across the globe, manufacturing companies are keeping a watchful eye on new developments in the spread of COVID. Though US FDA officials don’t think we’ll have to “start at square one” with new vaccines, the March 2021 World Economic Outlook states that “high uncertainty” surrounds the projected 6% global growth. Continued manufacturing success will in large part depend on “the path of the pandemic, the effectiveness of policy support, and the evolution of financial conditions”.
Mathias Cormann, secretary-general of the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) concurred—without global immunisation, the estimated economic boom expected by 2025 could go kaput. “We need to...pursue an all-out effort to reach the entire world population”, Australia’s finance minister added. US$50bn to end COVID across the world, they imply, is a small investment to restart our economies.