Norsk Titanium Innovates the Future of Metal Fabrication with its Patented Rapid Plasma Deposition Technology

Shaping metal into various forms has been done by blacksmiths for eons. Norsk Titanium (OTCQX: NORSF) has reinvented this process with its patented Rapid Plasma Deposition (RPD) technology to usher in a new era of metal additive manufacturing.

The company was founded in 2007 by a group of Norwegian scientists and engineers who dreamed of being the pioneers of the next industrial revolution.

As CEO Michael Canario told Proactive, the company’s vision is “to innovate the future of metal fabrication.”

READ: Norsk Titanium reports solid progress towards 2022 milestones throughout Q3

“The fundamental approach to metal fabrication hasn’t changed for hundreds of years,” he explained. “We are industrializing a new cost-effective and environmentally friendly production process for the manufacture of structural metal components.”

With over 170 published patents and industry standards, Norsk is the world leader in wire-based direct energy deposition 3D printing.

Currently, it is the only company licensed by the Federal Aviation Administration and qualified by Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) to manufacture titanium structural parts.

Advantages of Rapid Plasma Deposition over traditional metal fabrication

Through its RPD process, Norsk can supply stronger and more durable metals on demand with an improved environmental footprint.

In this process, titanium wire is melted in an inert atmosphere of argon gas, and precisely and quickly built up in layers to achieve a nearly clean-shaped part. It is monitored more than 600 times per second for quality assurance, according to Norsk.

While Norsk is focused on titanium, its technology is applicable to many other metals, with the company currently examining potential applications in nickel alloys, stainless steels and refractory metals.

According to Canario, Norsk’s RPD process was designed for use in the existing metal fabrication supply chain as a direct replacement for a metal block, forged or cast, without the need for expensive tooling or capital expenditure. high initials.

“Our technology investments have provided us with a digital platform to quickly convert customer designs into additively manufactured components,” he said.

READ: Norsk Titanium produces additive titanium components for industrial market through partnership with Hittech Group

The main advantage of the Norsk RPD is a significant reduction in the amount of raw materials needed.

“Creating a 3D printed ‘preform’ that is close in shape to the final geometry of the part eliminates waste and processing in the supply chain,” he said. “This leads to lower costs for raw materials, lower post-processing costs and significantly faster delivery times for the end customer.”

RPD reduces the amount of energy needed to create raw material, the most energy-intensive part of the metal supply chain, by up to 75% compared to traditional processes.

“In today’s market with tight supply chains, reduced availability of titanium raw materials and rising energy costs, Norsk Titanium (OTCQX: NORSF) is well positioned to meet the needs of our customers,” he said. -he declares.

Opportunities in commercial aerospace, defense and industrial markets

Canario described commercial aerospace as by far the biggest opportunity for Norsk in its first metallic titanium.

“The addressable market for RPD is measured in the billions of dollars and is concentrated at Boeing and Airbus,” he said. “The qualification process is long and we have been working with both OEMs for many years. »

He added that the defense and space segment is smaller and more fragmented, but also offers opportunities the company can seize by leveraging the extensive work it has done in commercial aerospace to access faster to market.

While Canario noted that the industrial segment is even more fragmented, it has interesting applications in equipment manufacturing and oil and gas.

“We clearly have a significant set of opportunities in these three areas and our plan is to expand into other metals with these customers as the next step,” he said.

Transition to series production in progress

Canario described 2022 as a key transition year for Norsk as the company expands its customer base.

Norsk has already established impressive partnerships in its three main segments with big names such as Boeing, Airbus and US Department of Defense prime contractors.

In October 2022, the company announced that it had received its first commercial mass production order from long-time industrial customer Hittech Group. Hittech, based in Den Haag, the Netherlands, has selected Norsk’s RPD as the raw material to replace the existing machined titanium plate in a component for an ASML silicon wafer fabrication machine. The Norsk RPD preform weighs 80 kilograms and offers a significant reduction in machining costs and lead times compared to the older 220 kilogram plate.

The company is also moving towards mass production in 2023, opening the door to other markets with potential for long-term value creation.

At its two sites, Norsk has the production capacity to support up to 700 metric tons of production per year. Its Plattsburgh Development and Production Qualification Center in New York, USA is the largest 3D printing facility in the world with an annual capacity of 620 metric tons on 31 RPD machines. The company has an additional 80 metric tonnes of annual capacity on four RPD machines and a metallurgical laboratory at its site in Eggemoen, Ringerike, Norway.

In Q3 2022, the company launched series production trials of its first two A350 parts for Airbus, with successful testing and industrial manufacturing trial to enable the company to work directly with tier-one suppliers. from Airbus to transition additional parts to its RPD technology. .

With the release of its Q3 results, the company reiterated its revenue target of US$15 million for 2023 and US$150 million in 2026.

“Major customer initiatives are progressing across our three main segments and we anticipate announcements regarding serial production contracts by the end of the year,” Canario concluded.

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