News & events

LPW Technology AM Metal Powder Manufacturing plant officially opened by HRH Duke of Gloucester

LPW Technology Ltd, the leading manufacturer of ultra-clean additive manufacturing (AM) metal powders and powder traceability solutions for the metal 3D printing industry, is delighted to have welcomed HRH The Duke of Gloucester to officially open its purpose built, AM metal powder manufacturing facility.


LPW Employees, Engineers, entrepreneurs and business leaders from the global AM industry joined guests from the local area to celebrate the opening of this £20 million metal powder production facility. The 90,000 sqft  (9,700m²) building sits on a seven-acre site in Widnes near Liverpool.

LPW’s vision is to “Understand Additive Manufacturing from the perspective of the metal powder”. This unique vision has allowed LPW to build the first metal powder production facility in the world dedicated to Additive Manufacturing. Quality control is ensured through complete digital integration of processes and a focus on contamination control throughout.

The factory houses a variety of powder production equipment referred to as atomisers, which melt feedstock at approximately 1700ºC. 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.

CEO Dr Phil Carroll founded the high-tech company LPW in 2007 and leads this factory-of-the-future, manufacturing AM metal powder with unprecedented levels of traceability. The factory has been designed to engineer out contamination. Separate cells, protected with air-locks and operating as clean rooms, enable clear segregation of materials. The facility is fully equipped with LPW’s PowderLife, metal powder lifecycle tracking system, to ensure that from raw material to customer site the material is strictly controlled.


In addition to manufacturing AM specific metal powder, LPW houses world leading material testing equipment to fully characterise metal powders and 3D Printers to develop the next generation of materials for AM. The unique portfolio of atomisation processes, range of AM metal powders and PowderSolve industry 4.0 process software has been developed by LPW to increase material yield and ultimately reduce risk throughout the AM process.

Dr Carroll commented that “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). To be part of a UK-based manufacturer helping to realise the potential of 3D printing in applications across the world makes me incredibly proud.”


LPW shortlisted for Health and Wellbeing award

LPW finalist in Health Wellbeing award

LPW is delighted to be shortlisted as a finalist in the Halton Borough Council 2018 business awards for the category ‘Health and Wellbeing’.

At LPW we have a strong work ethic and with our core values of – Trust, Team, Innovate – we work together, to manufacture AM metal powders, products and solutions  to support Additive Manufacturing in production.

We encourage all our people to achieve their goals, so if you are interested in joining a growing company, that values its people, see the careers on offer in the exciting world of metal Additive Manufacturing here


AM Metal AM case study – The impact of powder variability on Additive Manufacturing build quality

AM metal powder case study
AM metal powder impact on build quality

LPW Technology Ltd, the market leader in the development, processing and supply of high quality metal powders for the Additive Manufacturing (AM) industry, discusses the impact of metal powder variability on AM build quality.

For metal powders to deliver consistent AM built parts with the required properties it is critical to define an appropriate material specification, with due regard for tolerances on manufacturing and testing variance. It is also necessary to establish limits which are tight enough to ensure any variations do not have a negative impact on process and application performance. Changes within specification values can cause variations in material processability during part manufacture, or the final mechanical properties of the part itself. This study explores the impact of powder variability during the Laser Powder Bed Fusion (LPBF) process.

The latest LPW case study ‘The impact of powder variability on Additive Manufacturing build quality’ is located in the LPW website technical library.  These resources are all free to download – to access this latest case study, please visit http://www.lpwtechnology.com/technical-library/case-studies/


Exploring the new LPW AM Metal Powder Processing Facility in the US

LPW AM metal powder processing

LPW AM metal powder processingLPW Technology, the market leader in AM metal powder manufacture, development, processing and supply and software solutions for the Additive Manufacturing (AM) industry, held its first Open House Reception for AM industry professionals, to explore the new LPW facility in the US.

The tour took place on May 10th around the new facility located at 110 South Campus Dr., Imperial, PA. LPW Technology founder and CEO, Dr Phil Carroll, attended the event along with a host of the LPW AM metal powder experts.

John Hunter, General Manager LPW USA, explained that the 12,000 sq. ft. pioneering metal AM facility has been designed to “Deliver metal powder developed specifically for Additive Manufacturing and to increase our analytical and reconditioning capabilities to improve our customer’s reuse of their powders.” With a strategically designed laboratory and spacious warehouse, LPW will be able to maintain an increased inventory of metal powders that are ready to ship to customers within 24 hours of receiving an order. The enhanced capabilities in the new facility are essential to support our customers in the rapidly growing AM industry.

The Open House gave the LPW Team a chance to demonstrate their PowderLife approach to metal AM powder traceability and recently installed blenders, reconditioning lines of sieves, packing lines and the new scanning electron microscope in the lab. The tour was well attended by AM industry practitioners interested in operating a state-of-the-art clean metal powders manufacturing facility.

If you are interested in participating in future open events at LPW Technology, contact us at www.lpwtechnology.com/contact-us/


AMUG Banner 2018

LPW to facilitate metal powder AM specification requirements in AMUG workshop

AM metal powder specifications with powder samplesLPW Technology will be focusing on the ability of materials to drive improvement in metal Additive Manufacturing at this year’s AMUG event.  Its ‘Workshop for the Generation of Additive Manufacturing Specific Powder Specifications’ aims to equip attendees with an understanding of the limitations of current standards for specification, and the effects of alloy variables on AM processing outcomes and how these can be controlled.

On April 12, 1:30 – 3:00, the specialist in AM metal powder manufacture and powder management solutions will question current metal powder specifications’ suitability for AM.

“If the AM community doesn’t take control of quality standards for material specifications, then it could lose valuable production opportunities as AM is dismissed as unsuitable for applications that it would work well in,” says Ben Ferrar, COO of LPW.

“The current standards for metal powder specification for AM are basic, and don’t always reflect recent years’ huge leaps in the understanding of the behaviour and performance of materials in AM processing.  We need specifications that are based on the applications’ needs rather than what suits the powder manufacturers.”

For metal powders to deliver AM built parts with the required properties, the powder specification must establish limits which are tight enough to ensure any variations do not have an effect on process and application performance, yet include sufficient tolerances to accommodate manufacturing and testing variance.

Not only can a metal powder move from, it can also vary within, the current specification limits in terms of its chemistry and physical properties. This can result in issues with material processability during part manufacture or with the final mechanical properties of the part itself – potentially ruling out AM at the feasibility study stage.

Ben continues, “In this workshop our highly-qualified applications engineers will be sharing their experience of how current specs relate to performance, and suggesting a framework to develop AM specifications that will accelerate the adoption of AM for series production.”

Register your interest in attending the workshop or to hear follow-up information here.


AM Metal Powder is within spec, but will it build?

AM metal powder specifications with powder samplesUnderstanding how powder can influence additive manufacturing processing and final material properties

Powder specifications are vital in ensuring stable and reproducible processing. So it is clear that the ability to test a powder against the specification and ensure it is being met is vital. In this webinar, UL and LPW experts will discuss how powder can influence the Additive Manufacturing processing and final material properties of the built parts, and what properties influence powder behaviour.

We will introduce the techniques used to measure the key powder properties, and discuss their pros and cons in the context of AM. A short case study will demonstrate how effective powder testing can be used as part of root cause analysis in AM, which could save time and expense. Click here to register your interest


LPW Technology and Global Advanced Metals Co-operate On 3D Printing Of Tantalum

High Flow, High Purity Tantalum Powder

LPW Technology (LPW) and Global Advanced Metals Pty Ltd (GAM) announce cooperative agreement to further demonstrate suitability of spheroidized tantalum metal powder for 3D metal printing.

Across this emerging industry there are few examples of additively manufactured refractory metals, and a need exists for a more thorough proof of concept and development of print criteria. GAM is filling this void and expanding its product portfolio.

GAM is the world leader in tantalum powder technology, and offers powders in nodular, angular, fractal and spherical morphologies for a wide range of critical applications. Successful demonstration of laser 3D printing of tantalum  offers GAM customers another powder option with which to serve medical, dental, military, aerospace and other markets via tantalum-based additive manufacturing. Tantalum offer superior osteointegration, higher biocompatibility and reduced stress shielding with respect to current metals and alloys used for medical implants.

“Leveraging LPW’s laser powder bed fusion expertise, developed by viewing AM from the perspective of the powder, represents one step of our strategy to extend our offering in tantalum and other refractory metals to the additive manufacturing marketplace. We can now measure and share physicochemical data for both our spherical tantalum and the resulting 3D printed part and bring this solution to our partners, for example practitioners , designers and manufacturers of tantalum based surgical implants and other high reliability and critical devices.” said Andrew O’Donovan, CEO, GAM.

LPW Technology is the market leader in the manufacture, development and processing of high-quality metal powders for additive manufacturing, and provides a comprehensive range of solutions and services for the AM industry. These include the development and testing of new alloys, expert application support, and innovative end-to-end hardware and software.

“This initiative demonstrates the benefits of two experts in their fields partnering to expand the materials knowledge-base for AM and accelerate its adoption for production,” said Ben Ferrar, LPW’s COO.  “The performance of metal powder feedstock is key to building consistent AM parts and delivering the required mechanical properties.”

“This work will further develop understanding of the factors affecting tantalum powder spheroidization and how it performs in the AM process, adding assurance to metal AM producers of the material compatibility for AM production.”

View the range of LPW metal powders for Additive Manufacturing here


New digital factory strengthens LPW’s position in the global Additive Manufacturing AM metal powder market

LPW LPW's New factory for metal AM powder manufactureLPW’s pioneering AM metal powder factory is set to produce a new generation of clean powders suitable for use in production in safety-critical industries such as aerospace, medical and automotive.

The £20 m facility is the world’s first purpose-built production plant exclusively focused on the manufacture of AM metal powders.  Located near Liverpool, the 90,000 sqft (9,700 m²) building sits on a seven-acre site and introduces full material traceability, digital integration and strict contamination control to the production process.

To read what ‘Manufacturing News’ has to say about this exciting new development click here


Metal AM – From pizza to powder

Phil Carroll presenting metal powders for AMIf ‘you are what you eat’, then it stands to reason an additively manufactured part will only be as good as the metal powder fed into the AM machine.  On 15 March, 10:00 – 10:30 at the Additive World ‘Industrial 3d Printing Conference’ in Eindhoven, LPW’s CEO Dr Phil Carroll will present ‘From Pizza to Powder: the use of Machine Learning to control powders and realise the potential of new business models’.

Metal powder evolves during use and re-use.  The thickness of the oxide layer increases with thermal cycling and exposure to oxygen in the atmosphere, and the changes affect the process parameters of the AM machine and the final mechanical properties of the end product.

LPW has developed a technique to correlate image analysis of metal powder to its oxygen content.  Machine learning algorithms use colour data from the powder image to determine the oxide layer thickness and infer powder oxygen content information.  From this data adaptive parameters can be developed for the AM machine to accommodate the change in the powder.  Further data analysis of the image can be done offline to analyse trends and optimise the process.  Food for thought!

For more information contact marketing@lpwtechnology.com


LPW’s new laboratory services datasheet focuses on tap density testing

Tap density testing for AM metal powders datasheetLPW Technology, the market leader in the manufacture, development and processing of high quality metal powders and innovative solutions for additive manufacturing, describes the process and benefits of ‘Tap Density Testing for Metal Powders’, in its latest informative laboratory services datasheet.

“Tap density is influenced by the metal powder’s particle shape and particle size distribution, among other properties,” says Lisa Holman, LPW’s Quality Engineer.  “The results can give an indication of the powder’s cohesivity, which can influence flow and affect its behaviour in the additive manufacturing process.  It’s a useful measure of powder consistency for comparison and assurance, and also indicates how a powder might consolidate in transit.”

LPW’s state-of-the-art laboratories undertake a comprehensive range of testing services to ASTM as standard with ISO available on request, adding consistency and confidence to the AM process.  To view the datasheet, click here


Metal AM Company LPW Ranks in Top National Export League for 2nd Year

Sunday Times Export Track 100 logoWorldwide demand for LPW Technology’s high-quality metal powders and the innovative end-to-end hardware and software solutions it has created for the Additive Manufacturing industry has propelled it into the prestigious Sunday Times Lloyds SME Export Track 100 for the second year running.

The league table ranks the UK’s small and medium-sized (SME) private companies with the fastest-growing international sales, and LPW, the global leader in the manufacture, development and processing of metal powders, is the only metal AM company to appear.

“LPW is manufacturing for a global market,” comments Dr Phil Carroll, LPW’s CEO. “We differentiate our offering through technical understanding of metal powders for Additive Manufacturing, consistency in our materials and excellent customer service, and this has ensured our overseas customer base has expanded year on year.  We’re very pleased to be included among the 100 top-performing SME UK exporters.”


LPW’s latest laboratory services datasheet focuses on apparent density testing

 

Apparent density testing for additivve manufacturing metal powdersApparent density testing is the latest laboratory service datasheet to be released by LPW.  ‘Apparent Density Testing for Metal Powders’ examines the reasons for conducting the test, and the methodology underpinning it.

“The apparent density measurement is a quick, cost-effective, standardised method of characterising the volume occupied by a given mass of metal powder,” says Lisa Holman, LPW’s Quality Engineer.  “It provides a useful measure of powder consistency for comparison and assurance.


LPW at the first MAPP conference

The first ever MAPP conferenceadditive manufacturing metal powder degradation slide takes place in Sheffield, UK on the 30 – 31st January, and LPW’s Dr Neil Harrison, AM materials development lead, and Dr Nicola Jones, Marketing Manager, will both be contributing on the second day.

Dr Harrison will be exploring the evolution of metal powder through multiple reuse, and quantifying the relationship between cumulative laser energy and oxygen pick up in his presentation, ‘Measurement, control and prediction of metal powder evolution with serial LPBF processing’.

Dr Jones will be taking part in the Women in Engineering panel discussion ‘From research to results: Is powder research responding to industry’s needs?’, which offers an opportunity to ask the experts about current challenges in AM.


Trends in AM for end-use production with LPW

LPW's Ben Ferrar additive manufacturing expertLPW’s Chief Operating Officer, Ben Ferrar, offers a strategic overview of future trends in the Additive Manufacturing sector in a recently published article in 3DPI.  To read Ben’s comments on the challenges of adopting AM for end-use production click here.

 

 


LPW’s upgraded AM metal powder capabilities unveiled at AM America

AM Americas expo logoLPW Technology Inc. will be showcasing its comprehensive series of PowderRange AM metal powders and an exciting new alloy addition at its debut at AM Americas in Pasadena, CA between December 6th and 8th.

LPW focuses on materials to drive improved performance in the AM process.  At booth 229, it will present both its PowderRange series of AM metal powders, and PowderLife, the AM suite of powders, products and solutions designed to support AM in production. LPW has recently signed an agreement with Airbus APWorks to add high-performance Scalmalloy® aluminium-magnesium-scandium alloy to its extensive portfolio of premium metal powders for safety-critical sectors.  The LPW team will also take the opportunity to launch the upgraded series of AM metal powder reconditioning and analysis services it provides from its new, larger facility near Pittsburgh, PA.


Local 3D Printing Company Awarded Developing People Accolade

Laura Cordwell Robbie Charmer with EEF AwardLPW is celebrating its success at the regional finals of the prestigious EEF Future Manufacturing Awards 2017.

EEF represents British manufacturers, supporting them to thrive, innovate and compete locally and globally, and competition for the annual awards is fierce.  LPW, which supplies metal powders for 3D printed items as diverse as cranial implants for the medical sector and parts for Formula 1 cars, was runner-up in the ‘Developing People’ category.  The judges recognised the significant work the company is undertaking to manage change in the workplace as it prepares to move to its new, £20 million manufacturing facility in Venture Fields, Widnes.

“We operate in a young, dynamic industry,” says Laura Cordwell, LPW’s HR Manager.  “People with the combinations of skills we need don’t exist yet, so we’re working hard to develop our team so that they can fulfill these roles.  We’re not only providing talent for the future of the 3D printing sector, we’re giving our people skills that will enhance their career opportunities throughout their working lives.”


LPW and Additive Industries sign partnership agreement to deliver integrated Powder Management solutions

LPW and Additive Industries are delighted to have signed their partnership agreement to deliver integrated Powder Management solutions for the MetalFAB1 Additive Manufactuirng machine.

PowderTrace, the smart hopper designed and manufactured by LPW for the safe storage and transport of metal powders has been designed into the MetalFAB1 integrated additive manufacturing machine from Additive Industries. Integration of PowderTrace enables safe loading of AM metal powders and in combination with Additive Industries’ powder removal system this minimises the risk of contamination and of operator contact with metal powder.

The agreement was signed at the LPW stand during a very busy formnext 2017.


LPW Technology and AMA partner to supply metal powder solutions for French AM market

LPW AMA LPW Technology is extending its partnership base in Europe and North Africa to further support its customers.  AMA Services, located in Paris, will represent LPW in France, Luxembourg, French speaking regions of Switzerland and Belgium, and Tunisia and Morocco.

LPW is the market leader in the development, processing and supply of high quality metal powders and powder management products for the Additive Manufacturing (AM) industry.  Together with AMA Services, which has a wealth of experience with metal alloy materials in the aerospace, IGT and medical sectors, among others, LPW will offer a comprehensive range of powders, expert technical support and proactive customer service across these regions.


LPW Technology et AMA Services, partenaire pour la distribution des solutions de poudre métallique sur le marché français de la fabrication additive

LPW AMALPW Technology étend sa base de partenariat en Europe et en Afrique du Nord pour encore mieux soutenir ses clients. AMA Services, situé à Paris, représentera LPW en France, au Luxembourg, dans les régions francophones de Suisse et de Belgique, ainsi qu’en Tunisie et au Maroc.

LPW est le leader du marché dans le développement, la transformation et la fourniture de poudres métalliques de haute qualité et de produits de gestion des poudres pour l’industrie de la fabrication additive (AM). A travers ce partenariat avec AMA Services, qui possède déjà une grande expérience des alliages, en particulier, dans les secteurs de l’aérospatial, l’IGT et le médical, LPW proposera une gamme complète de poudres, une expertise technique et un service client proactif dans toutes ces régions.


LPW Technology and APWORKS announce a strategic partnership to strengthen its AM metal powder portfolio with the release of Scalmalloy®

Scalmalloy aerospace partitionLPW Technology Ltd has formed a strategic partnership with AIRBUS APWORKS GmbH to supply its high-performance Scalmalloy® aluminium-magnesium-scandium alloy to the additive manufacturing sector.

“As the market leader in the development, processing and supply of high quality metal powders and software solutions for the AM industry, we are continually expanding our materials range to enable new applications and productionisation of the technology” says Ben Ferrar, LPW’s Chief Operating Officer.  “Expanding our metal powder range to include Scalmalloy®, with its high strength, lightweight characteristics, enables manufacturers to access the technological and commercial benefits this proven metal AM alloy has to offer.”

Building on its experience in the aerospace sector, metal powder manufacturer LPW is aligning strategically with internationally recognised APWORKS to support the global requirements for high-strength aluminium with Scalmalloy®.  LPW is accredited to AS 9120A for aerospace, implementing robust quality management processes that assure the integrity of the tightly controlled metal powders it supplies to safety-critical sectors world-wide.

Scalmalloy aerospace bionic armrest“Compared to all other aerospace aluminium alloys, Scalmalloy® offers a unique level of corrosion resistance, its high strength to weight ratio makes it perfect for light-weighting applications, crucial to optimising the build to use ratio in component design. Scalmalloy® enables the lowest buy-to-fly ratio compared to conventionally designed and manufactured parts,” adds Ben.

Scalmalloy® is the world’s first material specifically developed for AM and, due to its high cooling rates and rapid solidification, it possesses a unique microstructure which remains stable at high temperatures.  It offers exceptionally high fatigue properties, weldability, strength and ductility compared to other aluminium alloy powders, which makes it particularly well-suited to aerospace, transportation and defence applications, among many others.

Chief Sales and Marketing Officer of APWORKS, Sven Lauxmann, comments, “Partnering strategically with an AM metal powder specialist such as LPW further strengthens the Scalmalloy® supply chain, supporting APWORKS vision to expand the industrial application of AM technologies and solutions across the sectors. With LPW Technology we have found a reliable and strongly AM focused partner to create an excellent synergy between their significant expertise in the production and global marketing of materials and APWORKS’ intensive experience in processing Scalmalloy® in 3D printing.”

APWORKS focuses on designing holistic additive manufacturing solutions, from design for AM through to the development of new materials and into prototype or qualified serial production for industries from aerospace to robotics, automotive, mechanical engineering, tooling and medical technology.

For more information on LPW’s comprehensive PowderRange, visit us at formnext in Hall 3.1 at booth D48, or click here .  Visit APWORKS at formnext in Hall 3.1 at booth E69 and learn more about the possibilities of Scalmalloy® for your applications.  More about Scalmalloy® can be found also at: http://www.apworks.de/scalmalloy/