The company is building a new 5,000 square metre production facility in Putzbrunn in Germany, with the initial shell scheduled to be completed by the end of December this year. Fit-out and machinery will take place in several stages, beginning in May 2021.
Image caption: (l-r) Michael Meier (Protolabs), Edwin Klostermeier (Mayor of Putzbrunn) and Daniel Cohn (Protolabs
Up to 25 further machines and state-of-the-art equipment will be added to the existing technology, whilst a 5-axis CNC machining centre will be installed to support the finishing of 3D-printed parts for high-end applications. Automated finishing, colouring and painting systems will also be part of the expansion, along with additional 3D-printing technologies in the future.
This is the latest investment by Protolabs in supporting its global customer base across automotive, aerospace, medical, electronics and heavy industry and follows the £5m extension currently being finalised at its European Headquarters in Telford.
Says Bjoern Klaas, vice president and managing director of Protolabs Europe: “We are the world’s fastest digital manufacturer, but a major goal for us is to produce 3D-printed parts even faster. When a finished design enters our online ordering platform it goes through a short feasibility check by our expert design team and then on to be printed. The new facility will give us the capacity to speed this process up even more to real time,”
“We will be able to move all departments from the current building in Feldkirchen near Munich to Putzbrunn and, importantly, with the larger production area and 50% more capacity, we’ll be able to deliver even more projects in as little as one day.
“With optimised work processes and additional employees, the new location will support our activity in the UK, especially our ability to produce certified medical devices under ISO 13485.”
Operating from manufacturing facilities across three continents, Protolabs helps customers to accelerate product development, reduce costs and optimise supply chains with technology-enabled 3D printing, CNC machining and injection moulding.
Clients upload their 3D CAD drawings to www.protolabs.co.uk, where customised software reviews files and emails an interactive quote with pricing and design analysis
The company, which recently won the Queen’s Award for International Trade for the third time, typically produces one to 50+ 3D printed parts in one to seven days, one to 200+ CNC machined parts in one to three days and 25 to 10,000+ injection moulded parts in one to 15 days.
Bjoern concludes: "Our expansion plans in the UK and Germany show that our concept of digitalisation and automated processes is in line with the spirit of the times and the requirement to support our customers in bringing products to market in the shortest possible time.”