President Biden launches AM Forward Initiative

Fastech was proud to be invited to join President Biden in Hamilton, Ohio along with our key customer, Siemens Energy, for the launch of the AM Forward initiative. The programme is a partnership of several large US equipment manufacturers with America’s small and medium-sized organisations and designed to help speed up of the adoption of additive manufacturing. The AM Forward Initiative should also improve the competitiveness of small-and-medium-sized manufacturers, to create, and sustain high-paying manufacturing jobs, and to improve supply chain resilience through greater adoption of additive manufacturing across the United States.

During President Biden’s visit the importance additive manufacturing, often known as 3D metal printing, was highlighted: some vital, complex parts used in many sectors, simply could not be produced using conventional methods. Additive manufacturing facilities in the US also have the advantages of ensuring supply chain security, speed and reduced costs.

“We discussed with the President the importance of the availability highly trained additive manufacturing specialists in today’s current tight labor market – and which is one of our critical challenges at FasTech,” explained Alan Pearce, CEO of FasTech. “We work closely with Institute of Advanced Learning and Research in Danville as well as the local community college, the Danville Community College, which is outstanding in training machining and additive technology specialists. In particular, their third year Integrated Machining Technology Programme is used as our benchmark qualification: a standard all our engineers must achieve to ensure a good mix of skills – part manufacturing technician, part engineer.”

The AM Forward initiative is important to businesses such as FasTech in providing a more stable order book from large US equipment manufacturers, training the future workforce with the required skills and providing high quality, well paid jobs for the next generation.

At FasTech, we are extremely proud that our Danville facility set up in 2018, was the first US manufacturer to use the Gefertec 3D metal printing technology.

Now three years on, we have two machines onsite, the GEFERTEC 3DMP® arc405 and GEFERTEC 3DMP® arc605. These provide 3D printing without lasers or powders with the aim to minimize material waste, reduce end to end lead times and reduce the overall product cost.

So how does 3D metal printing work?
3D metal printing is an extremely flexible solution which comprises of a four step process.

  • Firstly, the CAD is converted into individual digital layers, in other words the CAM model. If you need to, the part can be scanned, to reverse engineer the original product, and then create the CAM model.
  • Then the netshape part is created. This is achieved by using a wirebased arc welding process to automatically print the blank part.
  • The part is then scanned to check that it meets our rigorous standards and the customer’s agreed quality standards
  • Finally to complete the process, the finished part is milled.

Watch how the process works
Take a sneak peek to see how a use case in the aviation sector is created, using 3D metal printing

See how FasTech’s four step 3D metal printing process works
Find out more about the process works

If you would like to find out more about our 3D metal printing capability, please do get in touch with the FasTech team.

Come and meet the FasTech team at EMO

We will be joining Gerfectec on their Stand K03 at the forthcoming EMO exhibition (Hanover 16th-21st September 2019). EMO is the world’s premier show for the metalworking industry with over 130,000 visitors expected.

Our job shop partnership for 3DMP® services with Gefertec

We are delighted to announce that we have a job shop partnership for 3DMP® services with Gefertec. We can provide cutting edge metal additive 3D printing, using the first such machines in the U.S, at our site in Danville, Virginia.

Faster lead times and reduced costs

Up to ten times faster than conventional manufacturing methods, our wire arc additive manufacturing process, using our GEFERTEC 3DMP® arc405 and GEFERTEC 3DMP® arc605 delivers 3D printing without lasers or powders.

  • Ten times faster lead times than traditional manufacturing methods
  • Lower material costs as nearly 100% materials utilization
  • Broad range of materials available – only limited to available wire stock
  • Weld deposition in 5 axes, without printing additional support structures
  • Extremely flexible – ideal for one off prototypes
  • Easy sourcing, handling and storage of base materials

Our finishing capability

The products that have been “grown” through our 3D capability are then finished using either our Haas UMC 1000 SS Series or our Grob G350 5-axis Universal Machining Centers.

Harlow Group was one of just 15 projects to scoop a prestigious CiCi Award for Community Impact. These US Awards pay tribute to the impact that site selection can have on a local community – by bringing investment, new jobs and training opportunities into the area. In turn, it is hoped that these new projects will attract further investment.

Harlow Group was recognised in these Awards for the impact its forthcoming Danville plant will have on the local community where in 2015, the poverty rate stood at 23%, with an unemployment rate of 6%. Harlow Group will invest $8 million in Danville to locate its first U.S. precision sheet metal fabrication plant, which will have a particular focus on additive manufacturing.

“We are thrilled to receive this award for Community Impact” says Alan Pearce, CEO and co founder of Harlow FasTech. “We are extremely proud to be associated with Danville and the State of Virginia.”

“Following a two year process, we chose to invest in Danville with their outstanding workforce development programmes being a major factor in our decision.” explained David Gordon-Smith, CFO and co founder. “Over the next five years, our US business Harlow FasTech will provide 49 new jobs and a Training Centre of Excellence.”

For further information
2019 CiCi Awards – Community Impact

 Pictured here: David Gordon-Smith, Harlow Group, announcing $8million investment in Danville in November 2018.