Software helps companies meet additive manufacturing challenges

JANET KAR| December 21, 2018
SOFTWARE HELPS COMPANIES MEET ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING CHALLENGES
Data shows that the additive manufacturing industry grew 21 percent from 2016 to 2017 (Wohlers Associates). With so many businesses now embracing industrial 3D printing, it is natural for them to move from R&D to prototyping to the production of parts. At each stage, 3D printing supply chains begin to mature.

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Farinia Group

Farinia Group is specialized in hot, cold and warm forging using state-of-the-art tools, among others hammers and presses. Setforge supplies the automotive, aerospace, energy, railway and agricultural sector with high-quality components. Our casting division, FMGC, manufacture counterweights and best ballast solutions made of gray cast iron.

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The Factory of the Future

Article | December 2, 2021

The world of manufacturing is continuously evolving in the 21st century, and companies have to combat competition, altering consumer demands, and unexpected events to be able to deliver in today’s experience. Global connectivity, innovation, and disruption are all reshaping the manufacturing industry, but a world-class business platform can help companies transform operations digitally to keep up with an evermore digitized world. The factory of the future will allow manufacturers to enhance production through the convergence of information technology with factory operations, combining the effectiveness of the virtual world with the materiality of the physical world to lower costs, increase flexibility, and better meet customer expectations. The factory of the future functions on four dimensions: resource planning, manufacturing planning, planning and optimization, and manufacturing operations. Resource planning involves defining and simpulating the plant layout, flow, assets, and resources needed to efficiently develop products in a safe environment. Normal production change requests can be quickly validated by using 3D virtual experience twin technology. This technology could also quickly pivot operations to alternative products in the case of disruptive events. Manufacturing planning enriches the resource and product definition by defining and validating a process plan and creating work instructions that meet production goals. Digital visualization of resource and process changes can also help speed up time-to-production in any scenario no matter the location by leveraging the cloud. Planning and optimization of supply chains across planning horizons will help manufacturers gain visibility with planning and scheduling by having the ability to model, simulate, and optimize alternative supply and production plans to reduce disruptions. Lastly, manufacturing operations management can transform global production operations to attain and maintain operational excellence. Manufacturers can create, manage, and govern operational processes on a global scale while maintaining operational integrity to meet altering demands. For the factory of the future to come about successfully, there needs to be connected technology and shared data. Technology has to be adaptable with robotics and equipment that can be reconstructed to house changes and new products. An AI-powered product demand simulation is necessary to maintain agility and boost productivity. A versatile, cross-functional workforce with the ability to explicate data and function well in AR environments is also required along with smart factory technology such as wearable sensors and virtual prototypes. Through all this, the factory of the future can connect technologies across the product life cycle while optimizing the workforce and increasing sustainability. Although achieving the factory of the future has several benefits, creating a feasible factory of the future plan can be challenging. In 2018, only 12% of companies had a mature factory of the future plan. One of the main challenges that companies face is a lack of internal skills to devise digital solutions. However, this can be combated by carefully considering how you can utilize digital technologies to deliver improved performance, resiliency, and flexibility. It is easier to begin with small steps and to collaborate with a partner who could support your efforts to build toward your desired transformation goal. It is important to always be prepared by evaluating your next steps, industry trends, and progress metrics. It is also crucial to focus on the people, process, and technology you’re using to have a successful transformation journey. Manufacturing with the factory of the future can provide savings in a wide range of categories. For example, it can reduce virtual vehicles build time by 80%, increase on-time performance of industrial equipment by 45%, and reduce modular construction time of construction, cities, and territories by 70%. Leading the transformation of the manufacturing space towards the direction of the factory of the future will allow manufacturers to work smart and better meet the needs of the end consumers.

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How to Find a Suitable Contract Manufacturing Partner?

Article | December 10, 2021

The benefits of contract manufacturing are triggering manufacturers to utilize it as a strategy to speed up production and increase revenue. According to BCC Research, the worldwide contract manufacturing industry should increase from $2.0 trillion in 2018 to $2.7 trillion in 2023, a 6.7% CAGR. Given the growing demand, contract manufacturing has a long way to go in innovating new solutions for manufacturers. As technology takes over and enhances many of the processes we used to handle with manual labor, we are freed up to use our minds creatively, which leads to bigger and better leaps in innovation and productivity. – Matt Mong, VP Market Innovation and Project Business Evangelist at Adeaca Let us look at the benefits and concept of contract manufacturing, often known as manufacturing partners in some circles. Contract Manufacturing: Concept and Benefits Concept Contract manufacturing is a business model in which a company agreeswith a contract manufacturer to make components or finished goods based on the hiring company's design. In short, it is a business model in which one company hires another company to manufacture components or goods for them or their products. Benefits The following are some of the primary advantages of contract manufacturing that attract manufacturers to adopt this concept and find a trusted supplier to manufacture any product or part of their product without much difficulty. Cost Efficiency: In contract manufacturing, companies do not have to pay for the facility, equipment, or labor needed. Resource Allocations: The money and resources saved through contract manufacturing can be redirected towards other company operations. Faster Lead Times: Hiring a contract manufacturer reduces manufacturing time. This improves market speed, delivery time, and customer service. Quality Control: Contract manufacturers are likely to have their own quality control processes in place, which allow them to spot counterfeit or damaged products early on. Advanced Skill Sets: Companies can benefit from the skills they may not possess, but the contract manufacturer does. Contract Manufacturing Examples Here are some examples of contract manufacturing companies that offer manufacturing services to other businesses and work on full-service outside manufacturing projects. Example 1: Kimball Electronics Group Kimball Electronics Group provides a comprehensive range of electronics manufacturing services, including engineering, prototyping, testing, electronic data interchange (EDI), new product introduction, and repair depot services. Soldering, assembly, reflow, de-paneling, flux application, inspection, screen printing, testing, and rework are all processes used in their manufacturing. Example 2: Scapa Healthcare Scapa Healthcare, headquartered in Knoxville, Tennessee, provides contract manufacturing services for medical and cosmetic products. Their portfolio of products includes sunscreen, silicone medical adhesives, and innovative materials. Additionally, the organization provides development, packaging, and logistics services. Things to Consider While Selecting a Contract Manufacturing (CM) Partner You need to know how to identify the ideal contract manufacturer for your business to accelerate production and produce high-quality items. Below, we've listed some of the most important things to keep in mind while looking for an outsourced manufacturing partner for your company. Competency Understanding a contract manufacturer's (CM) capabilities in terms of logistics and fulfillment is critical. Is your potential CM able to meet shifting product demands? How to use the CM's services? You may need one or more services from CM for your product, so always examine their capabilities or develop a list of their services and see which ones are valuable for you. Knowledge or Prerequisite A qualified, experienced, subject matter expert CM always correctly understands the requirements and delivers the services as per expectations and within the time frame specified in your production schedule. Always inquire about their qualifications or certificates in the places where your product will be manufactured. Compliance Any contract manufacturing plan must have an agreement or compliance clause. Always inquire about the compliance procedure and thoroughly understand the terms and claws to avoid future issues. Workforces Verify your possible contract manufacturer's personnel count. Is it easy to talk to them? Is labor skilled enough to meet the product's goals? It is critical for large-scale production and production, requiring swift responses. Any work force shortage might cause production delays. Gear & Expertise Check for machines and equipment as well as human labor in your possible CM. Many CM lease equipment to complete a project. So always check how the CM will organize the essential equipment for your project. Expertise in using the equipment is also necessary. Verify which machines were used and whether or not professionals were involved. Whereabouts The CM's location is the main factor to check. Because the CM may have numerous plants, knowing which plant is assigned to your product is essential to knowing every aspect of its production. Also, the assembly location must allow you to visit and inspect the manufacturing between cycles. Business Stability Finding a reliable contract manufacturer with solid financial backing and market roots is essential to avoid market scams. However, you must also analyze and solve risk factors like equipment failure, supplier capacity, and unreasonable expectations. Selection Myths of Contract Manufacturing Partner Once you've produced a list of shortlisted contract manufacturing partners who meet all of the criteria described in the preceding heading, you can proceed by following the steps below to select the best contract manufacturing partner. Look for Who is Willing to Invest in Your Business Incorrect. The objective is to find a vendor prepared to manufacture at a loss. A contract manufacturer's strength is that they can stay competitive and make a profit for both parties. Focus on Tier 1 CM Partners from the Market This one is indeed not acceptable. Tier 1 is a financial phrase used to separate large corporations from smaller ones. You want a contract manufacturer who understands your business and your needs. Don't worry about the manufacturing partner's size. Go Ahead with the One Who Offers the Best Services at the Lowest Price Trying to get the cheapest quote isn't always the best idea. You should get a quote from your contract manufacturing partner, but the quote may not always reveal the complete story. Cost per unit frequently captures approximately 75% of total supply chain cost. Some contract manufacturers charge the OEM the remaining 25%. Consider the complete picture while selecting a CM partner. Final Words Manufacturers use contract manufacturing to meet their commercial goals. Therefore, contract manufacturing is a win-win situation for both industrialists and contract manufacturers. Finding the proper contract manufacturing partner for your company is not straightforward, but our brief guide can help you identify the right manufacturing partner. FAQ What makes a good contract manufacturer? The most significant contract manufacturing firms are more than just supply chain partners. They recognize and treat your items as if they were their own, are meticulous in their operations, and are concerned with quality and capital. What differentiates contract manufacturing from outsourcing? A contract is a legally binding arrangement. It involves two or more parties. For example, outsourcing is outsourcing some tasks to an outside organization under a contract agreed upon by both parties. What's the difference between contract manufacturing and licensing? Contract manufacturing only outsources production phases, while licensing is far more complex. In return for fees, a corporation sells the right to utilize its intellectual property to another company. Licenses are like franchises. { "@context": "https://schema.org", "@type": "FAQPage", "mainEntity": [{ "@type": "Question", "name": "What makes a good contract manufacturer?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "The most significant contract manufacturing firms are more than just supply chain partners. They recognize and treat your items as if they were their own, are meticulous in their operations, and are concerned with quality and capital." } },{ "@type": "Question", "name": "What differentiates contract manufacturing from outsourcing?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "A contract is a legally binding arrangement. It involves two or more parties. For example, outsourcing is outsourcing some tasks to an outside organization under a contract agreed upon by both parties." } },{ "@type": "Question", "name": "What's the difference between contract manufacturing and licensing?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "Contract manufacturing only outsources production phases, while licensing is far more complex. In return for fees, a corporation sells the right to utilize its intellectual property to another company. Licenses are like franchises." } }] }

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Which Additive Manufacturing Process Is Right for You?

Article | December 6, 2021

Additive Manufacturing (AM) uses computer-aided design (CAD) or 3D object scanners to create accurate geometric features. In contrast to traditional manufacturing, which frequently involves milling or other processes to eliminate superfluous material, these are produced layer by layer, as with a 3D printing process. The global additive manufacturing market is expected to grow at a 14.42 percent annual rate from USD 9.52 billion in 2020 to USD 27.91 billion in 2028, according to reports and data. Overall, the worldwide 3D printing industry is gaining traction due to various reasons, some of which are listed below. Significantly, greater resolution Reduced manufacturing costs as a result of recent technology breakthroughs Ease of creating customised goods Increasing possibilities for printing with diverse materials Funding by the government for 3D printing ventures Additive manufacturing is available or may be implemented in various procedures, which is the primary objective of this article. First, we'll look at the seven additive manufacturing processes and which one is the best to use. So let us begin. “Don’t be afraid to go outside of your industry to learn best practices. There might be something that surprises you or inspires you to try in your line of work.” – Emily Desimone, Director of Global Marketing at SLM Solutions Additive Manufacturing Processes There are numerous diverse additive manufacturing processes, each with its own set of standards. Here are the seven additive manufacturing procedures that many manufacturers consider based on their benefits from each process, or whichever approach best suits their product requirements. Material Jetting This additive manufacturing process is quite similar to that of conventional inkjet printers, in which material droplets are selectively placed layer by layer to build a three-dimensional object. After completing a layer, it is cured with UV radiation. VAT Photo Polymerization This procedure employs a technology called photo polymerization, in which radiation-curable resins or photopolymers are utilized to ultraviolet light to generate three-dimensional objects selectively. When these materials are exposed to air, they undergo a chemical reaction and solidify. Stereo lithography, Digital Light Processing, and Continuous Digital Light Processing are the three primary subcategories. Binder Jetting Binder jetting is a process that deposits a binding agent, typically in liquid form, selectively onto powdered material. The print head deposits alternating layers of bonding agent and construction material and a powder spreader to create a three-dimensional object. Material Extrusion S. Scott Crump invented and patented material extrusion in the 1980s using Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM). The continuous thermoplastic filament is fed through a heated nozzle and then deposited layer by layer onto the build platform to produce the object. Powder Bed Fusion Powder bed fusion procedures, particularly selective laser sintering, were the pioneers of industrial additive manufacturing. This approach melts the powdered material and fuses it using a laser or electron beam to form a tangible item. The primary kinds of powder bed fusion are direct metal laser sintering, selective laser sintering, multi-jet fusion, electron beam melting, selective laser melting, and selective heat sintering. Sheet Lamination Sheet lamination is a catch-all term encompassing ultrasonic additive manufacturing, selective deposition lamination, and laminated object manufacturing. All of these technologies stack and laminate sheets of material to form three-dimensional objects. After the object is constructed, the parts' undesirable areas are gradually removed layer by layer. Directed Energy Deposition Directed energy deposition technology employs thermal energy to melt and fuse the materials to form a three-dimensional object. These are pretty similar to welding processes, but are much more intricate. Which Additive Manufacturing Process is best? Why? Based on three fundamental factors, additive manufacturing techniques are categorized into seven types. First, the way material is solidified is determined first by the type of material employed, then by the deposition technique, and finally by how the material is solidified. The end-user often chooses an additive manufacturing technique that best suits his requirements, followed by the explicit material for the process and application, out of the seven basic additive manufacturing processes. Polymer materials are commonly used in AM techniques because they are adaptable to various procedures and can be modified to complicated geometries with high precision. Carbon-based compounds are used to strengthen polymers. Polymers, both solid and liquid, have been widely used due to the variety of shapes, formability, and end-use qualities available. Wherever the light-activated polymer contacts the liquid's surface, it instantly solidifies. Photo polymerization, powder bed fusion, material jetting, and material extrusion are the most common additive manufacturing procedures for polymers. The materials employed in these processes can be liquid, powder, or solid (formed materials such as polymer film or filament). How BASF is Using Additive Manufacturing BASF is a chemical company. BASF, one of the world's major chemical companies, manufactures and provides a range of 3D printing filaments, resins, and powders within its extensive material portfolio. The company, well-known in the 3D printing sector, has formed major material agreements with several 3D printer manufacturers, including HP, BigRep, Essentium, BCN3D, and others. BASF went even further in 2017 by establishing BASF 3D printing Solutions GmbH (B3DPS) as a wholly-owned subsidiary to expand the company's 3D printing business. In addition, BASF stated last year that B3DPS would change its name to Forward AM. BASF's role in the 3D printing business, however, is not limited to material development. BASF has made several investments in 3D printing companies over the years, including the acquisition of Sculpteo, one of the significant French 3D printing service bureaus, last year. BASF sees 3D printing as having a bright future. With the growing popularity of professional 3D printers, all of these systems will eventually require robust, high-quality polymer materials to perform at their best – and BASF has been paving the way to becoming one of the leading solution providers. Final Words All additive manufacturing procedures are unique and helpful in their way. Still, some have additional advantages over others, such as the material used, highresolution, precision, and the ability to build complicated parts. Because of these added benefits, photopolymerization, material jetting, powder bed fusion, and material extrusion are preferred over others. Therefore, choose the AM process that is best suited to your manufacturing business and will assist you in achieving the desired final product output. FAQs What are the benefits of additive manufacturing? AM enables manufacturers to reduce waste, prototyping costs, and customization while conserving energy and increasing production flexibility. Additionally, it benefits the supply chain and the environment, encouraging businesses to increase their manufacturing sustainability. What is the major challenge in additive manufacturing? Many businesses are struggling with the current difficulty of producing large and odd-sized parts using additive manufacturing. So, this can be considered a significant challenge in additive manufacturing. What are the steps of additive manufacturing? The additive manufacturing steps are divided into four steps as below, Step1 - Design a model with CAD software Step2 -Pre-processing Step3 -Printing Step4 - Post-processing { "@context": "https://schema.org", "@type": "FAQPage", "mainEntity": [{ "@type": "Question", "name": "What are the benefits of additive manufacturing?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "AM enables manufacturers to reduce waste, prototyping costs, and customization while conserving energy and increasing production flexibility. Additionally, it benefits the supply chain and the environment, encouraging businesses to increase their manufacturing sustainability." } },{ "@type": "Question", "name": "What is the major challenge in additive manufacturing?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "Many businesses are struggling with the current difficulty of producing large and odd-sized parts using additive manufacturing. So, this can be considered a significant challenge in additive manufacturing." } },{ "@type": "Question", "name": "What are the steps of additive manufacturing?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "The additive manufacturing steps are divided into four steps as below, Step1 - Design a model with CAD software Step2 - Pre-processing Step3 - Printing Step4 - Post-processing" } }] }

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Did You Read about the Manufacturing Challenges for 2022?

Article | December 8, 2021

The new manufacturing industry outlook for 2022 is what businesses desire. Due to COVID-19, the sector has seen several ups and downs in recent years. But the industry overcame the most difficult situation by adopting innovations as their working hands. But all this upgrading and digitalization in manufacturing isn't for everyone. Some manufacturers may struggle with this change, while others may not. So, taking into account all industry segments, we have compiled a list of potential manufacturing challenges for 2022. “Many companies simply are not willing to change or think they are done once they make a change. But the truth is that technology, consumer demands; the way we work, human needs and much more are constantly changing.” – Michael Walton, Director, Industry Executive (Manufacturing) at Microsoft The summary of manufacturing industry challenges and industry outlook for 2022 are presented in the stats below. According to the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), four million manufacturing jobs will likely be needed over the next decade, and 2.1 million will likely go unfulfilled unless we motivate more people to pursue modern manufacturing occupations. According to PTC, 70% of companies have or are working on a digital transformation plan. According to Adobe, 60% of marketers feel technology has increased competitiveness. The statistics show that while digitalization facilitates the process, it also poses several challenges that must be addressed in the coming years. Let's explore what obstacles manufacturers may face in 2022. The Manufacturing Industry Challenges in 2022 The manufacturing business has had a difficult few years as a result of the current economic downturn, and 2022 may not be even that smooth. Thought, technology, and current trends make the operations of upscale manufacturers easier, but not everyone is on the same page. Let's look at some of the manufacturing challenges that businesses will face in the next year. Skilled Labor Shortage The manufacturing industry is facing a workforce shortfall as a skilled generation prepares to retire. Industry experts say that by 2025, there will be between 2 and 3.5 million unfilled manufacturing jobs. As a result of the advancement of new technologies, manufacturing organisations are finding themselves with fewer personnel. They do, however, require individuals with a diverse range of abilities, such as mathematicians and analytic thinkers, to accomplish the tasks with precision. Specific manufacturing tasks have been automated to save time and money. Industry has adopted machine sensors to capture large amounts of data. With this kind of innovation, the industry's job structure is changing and the desire to hire an untrained or trainable workforce is slowly fading in the industry. However, using augmented reality and virtual reality, manufacturers can easily train personnel for the job and save money. Lack of Ability to Mine Data Manufacturing is progressively using IoT. The majority of businesses have already installed or are planning to install Internet of Things machines. These smart machines let businesses collect data to improve production and conduct predictive maintenance. But getting data is a simple task. The difficult aspect is analyzing and aggregating data. Despite possessing the machines, most companies lack the systems to analyze and retrieve the data recorded by the systems. In this way, the industries are missing a vital opportunity. The industry must improve data mining capabilities to make better decisions in real-time. Using IoT for analytics and predictive maintenance is critical. Monitoring technologies can help the sector examine data quickly. It can also help predict an asset's maintenance period. As a result, the industry will move from replacement to predict and fix. Self-service Web Portals That Is Extremely Detailed and Precise Manufacturing businesses usually strive for on-time order delivery and optimum revenue. However, consumer self-service, which has been in the industry for a long time, has never proven to be a simple walk for clients. Clients are frequently required to pick up the phone and contact manufacturers in order to track their orders and receive delivery estimates. This is hardly the service one would expect from a manufacturer, even more so in today's digital era. The term customers in manufacturing include partners, end-users, and subcontractors. These three clients have distinct requirements and concerns about collaborating with the manufacturer. Companies can better serve their customers if their partner and end-customer portals are linked to a central hub which we can mention as self-service web portals. All of the information and updates they need about their orders will be available to them through this new system. They can track, accept and amend their tasks. They'll also use the self–service portal to contact the manufacturer. In this way, manufacturers can better serve their customers. A system like this will ensure that all parties have access to timely information in a digital format. Meeting the Deadline for the Project Product launch timelines are extremely demanding, tight, and stringent. Every project in the assembly line is about cost, time, and quality. Ultimately, these projects are rigorous and well-controlled. Manufacturers who fail to meet deadlines risk losing millions in potential revenues and sales. Due to rigidity and stringent control, companies are less able to change project scopes or make adjustments as projects develop. The majority of initiatives begin with a design commitment. As new facts or change criteria emerge, adjustment flexibility decreases. This can be aggravating for a team that expects high-quality results. Deadlines are always a constraint. Effective Business Digital Marketing Strategy An industry's key digital transformation challenges are driving leads, sales, and MRR through digital channels. Many manufacturing organizations struggle to efficiently use marketing channels like paid media, enterprise SEO, local SEO, content strategy, and social media. In our opinion, one of the most significant issues these organizations have is their digital experience, website design, and overall brand presentation. They can't ignore them if they want to keep enjoying the manufacturing revival. Visibility of the Supply Chain Manufacturers must respond to the growing demand from customers for greater transparency. In order to meet customer demand across the customer experience and product lifecycle, they must first understand that precise and real-time visibility throughout the supply chain is essential. All details must be taken into consideration by the manufacturers. They must be aware of any delays in the arrival of products on the market. Keeping abreast of such developments would give them a leg up in terms of adjusting or rectifying the situation. Final Words Manufacturing industry challenges have long been a part of the industry. However, industry leaders and professionals have always confronted and overcome any challenges that have come their way. The year 2022 will also be a year of achievements, setting new records, and growth for the manufacturing industry, since it will be a year in which it will develop solutions to all of the aforementioned challenges. FAQ What is the future of manufacturing? Manufacturers should start using AI, block chains, and robotics today. The combination of these new technologies will reshape manufacturing. A new workforce capable of augmenting these technologies is developing and will become the future of manufacturing. How will automation affect manufacturing in 2022? When applied properly, automation can greatly assist manufacturing. These benefits include shorter production times, faster and more efficient work than human labor, and lower production costs. How is the manufacturing industry’s market likely to upsurge in the future? According to BCC Research, the global manufacturing and process control market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 6.3 percent from $86.7 billion in 2020 to $117.7 billion in 2025. { "@context": "https://schema.org", "@type": "FAQPage", "mainEntity": [{ "@type": "Question", "name": "What is the future of manufacturing?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "Manufacturers should start using AI, block chains, and robotics today. The combination of these new technologies will reshape manufacturing. A new workforce capable of augmenting these technologies is developing and will become the future of manufacturing." } },{ "@type": "Question", "name": "How will automation affect manufacturing in 2022?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "When applied properly, automation can greatly assist manufacturing. These benefits include shorter production times, faster and more efficient work than human labor, and lower production costs." } },{ "@type": "Question", "name": "How is the manufacturing industry’s market likely to upsurge in the future?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "According to BCC Research, the global manufacturing and process control market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 6.3 percent from $86.7 billion in 2020 to $117.7 billion in 2025." } }] }

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Spotlight

Farinia Group

Farinia Group is specialized in hot, cold and warm forging using state-of-the-art tools, among others hammers and presses. Setforge supplies the automotive, aerospace, energy, railway and agricultural sector with high-quality components. Our casting division, FMGC, manufacture counterweights and best ballast solutions made of gray cast iron.

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