GE Acquires Concept Laser to Propel 3D Printing Technologies

GE | December 23, 2016

GE, the world’s leading digital industrial company, executed on its agreement to acquire a 75% stake in Concept Laser of Germany. The agreement, announced in late October, allows for GE to take full ownership over the next several years.In addition, GE recently concluded its tender offer for the shares of Arcam AB of Sweden, first initiated in September, and purchased 76.15% of the company. GE now has controlling shares of two important producers of additive manufacturing machines and technology, and has committed significant investments to enhance the portfolios of both companies.Privately-held Concept Laser has more than 200 employees and is headquartered in Lichtenfels, Germany, with significant operations in the U.S. (Grapevine, Texas), China, and a global network of more than 35 distributors and agents. Concept Laser is a pioneer in the field of metal additive manufacturing. Concept Laser designs and manufacturers powder bed-based laser additive manufacturing machines. Its customer base is focused on the aerospace, medical and dental industries, with a meaningful presence in automotive and jewelry.

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3D PRINTING

Desktop Metal Installations of Additive Manufacturing Systems for Metal Parts Now Surpass 1,100 Units Worldwide

Desktop Metal | December 07, 2022

Desktop Metal (NYSE: DM), a leader in mass production additive manufacturing (AM) solutions, today announced the company has installed more than 1,100 3D printing systems for metal components worldwide. More than 80% of installed systems worldwide are direct metal 3D printing systems. Among sand 3D printing systems, which are used for the final production of digital metal castings, more than half of the installed systems are now located at multi-system sites dedicated to high-throughput mass production applications. A significant number of metal binder jet systems are also being used to print technical ceramics, most often silicon carbide. “As the highest throughput process in 3D printing, binder jetting is the additive manufacturing technology that will truly take the industry into mass production at high volumes, Our 3D printing systems are already being used to manufacture powertrain components, automotive interiors, oil and gas, food processing equipment, hydraulics and some of the most advanced aerospace and nuclear parts.” -Ric Fulop, Founder and CEO of Desktop Metal. Binder Jet is a Differentiated AM Solution Binder jet 3D printing is one of seven additive manufacturing processes recognized by ASTM. The process transforms virtually any powdered materials — metal, sand or ceramic — into functional precision parts and tools at high speeds. An industrial printhead selectively deposits a binder into a bed of powder particles creating a solid part one thin layer at a time, just like printing on sheets of paper. The technology is viewed as a desirable and sustainable production method, largely because of its high speed, low waste and cost, as well as material flexibility. Desktop Metal offers the world’s leading portfolio of binder jet 3D printing systems, backed by the most experienced binder jet team in the industry. In addition to Desktop Metal’s binder jet systems for production of metal and ceramics, the company’s ExOne brand offers world-leading sand binder jet systems for digital metal casting, and the company’s Forust brand offers turnkey binder jet printing of upcycled wood waste. The company’s portfolio offers the widest selection of mass production solutions for metal 3D printing: The Production System™ P-50 — the world’s fastest metal binder jet system, offering the lowest cost per part, featuring Single Pass Jetting (SPJ) technology. The X160Pro™ — the world’s largest binder jet system for the production of both metal and ceramics, featuring Triple Advanced Compaction Technology (ACT). The S-Max® Pro — the world’s best selling brand of sand binder jet 3D printing systems for sandcasting molds and cores for aluminum and ferrous metal castings. The S-Max® Flex — an affordable binder jet 3D printing system for digital sandcastings. The Production System™ P-1 — the world’s best selling platform for qualifying binder jet 3D printing for serial production. The InnoventX™ — the world’s best-selling metal binder jet system in academia. The Shop System™ — the world’s best-selling metal binder jet system. The Studio System™ — the best-selling Bound Metal Deposition (BMD) system with only two steps and the widest material selection offered in its category. An open house to showcase the performance capabilities of the Production System P-50 will be held on Wednesday, Jan. 25. Manufacturers interested in adopting the technology can sign up to attend at teamdm.com/p-50-open-house. About Desktop Metal: Desktop Metal, Inc., based in Burlington, Massachusetts, is accelerating the transformation of manufacturing with an expansive portfolio of 3D printing solutions, from rapid prototyping to mass production. Founded in 2015 by leaders in advanced manufacturing, metallurgy, and robotics, the company is addressing the unmet challenges of speed, cost, and quality to make additive manufacturing an essential tool for engineers and manufacturers around the world. Desktop Metal was selected as one of the world’s 30 most promising Technology Pioneers by the World Economic Forum and named to MIT Technology Review’s list of 50 Smartest Companies

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DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION

SME Introduces Robotics in Manufacturing Fundamentals Certification

SME | December 02, 2022

SME, a nationally recognized certifying body in manufacturing, announced today that it has developed and will offer the Robotics in Manufacturing Fundamentals (RMF) credential. The new certification, focused on assessing a candidate's comprehension of fundamental robotics concepts, may be used by those currently looking to upskill or reskill into manufacturing careers before pursuing equipment-specific or career pathway-specific training in robotics. The credential can help individuals begin a lifelong career in an industry where there is opportunity for advancement and good-paying jobs. The industry-recognized RMF credential was developed by SME, with two leading organizations in the robotics education area: Robotics Education & Competition (REC) Foundation and FIRST®. "Through our extensive networks in industry, education and workforce, SME identified a common need for a robotics credential that demonstrates certification holders have a basic understanding of robotics concepts before starting a more advanced training program, We worked closely with the REC Foundation and FIRST to validate the body of knowledge to cover topics relevant for foundational robotics topics across a wide range of industries. The global robotics market is expected to reach $74 billion by 2026 and there is tremendous opportunity for those who want to advance their career, o keep our industry thriving, we need to help meet the high demand for advanced manufacturing and robotics talent in our country." -Jeannine Kunz, Chief Workforce Development Officer, SME and member of the Education and Workforce Advisory Committee of ARM, the Robotics Institute. The RMF credential, focused on the fundamentals of manufacturing robotics, provides a starting point for any career pathway a candidate may pursue in the field of robotics. With a RMF credential and the fundamental knowledge it represents, a candidate has many options available to them including: Entry-level employment in manufacturing jobs that involves robotics and automation Pursuing further education and training toward Robotics-specific career pathway such as a robotics technician, robotics specialist, robotics integrator, or robotics engineer Equipment-specific robotics training and certification Skilled trade in which robots may be applied such as machining or welding Industrial maintenance or mechatronics certification "It is important for FIRST to recognize the high value of skills and experiences that students gain through robotics programs, The RMF credential unlocks exciting career pathways, helping us inspire young people to become leaders in robotics and advanced manufacturing, and we're proud to join SME in developing this program." -Chris Rake, Chief Operating Officer, FIRST. The RMF credential is ideal for high school and college students, dislocated workers, under-employed individuals, veterans, at-risk youth, and others who are seeking new employment in high-demand manufacturing jobs. The REC Foundation is pleased to partner with SME to create the Robotics in Manufacturing Fundamentals certification as a way to recognize students that are pursuing Industry 4.0 technology careers, said Dan Mantz, CEO, REC Foundation. Manufacturing is evolving and today's manufacturing jobs require high tech skills. But there is a critical shortage of tech workers for these jobs so students earning this certification will have excellent career opportunities. The Robotics in Manufacturing Fundamentals certification is an exciting complement to the existing REC Foundation industry certifications in Pre-engineering and Robotics that are part of our workforce development initiatives. SME has led the manufacturing industry in providing industry-recognized certifications for over 50 years, including Lean Certification, Additive Manufacturing Certification, Certified Manufacturing Associate (CMfgA), Certified Manufacturing Technologist (CMfgT), and Certified Manufacturing Engineer (CMfgE). About SME: We believe in the power of technology and the innovation of people to advance our nation and solve the world's greatest problems. For 90 years, SME has been leading the manufacturing ecosystem to elevate manufacturers, academia, professionals, and the communities in which they operate. We build the bridge from today to the future by developing the next generation of manufacturing talent and informing industry on technology advances that can propel their operations into excellence. About The Robotics Education & Competition (REC) Foundation: The Robotics Education & Competition Foundation (REC Foundation) provides educators with competition, education, and workforce readiness programs to increase student engagement in science, technology, engineering, math, and computer science. Through its robotics and drone initiatives, the REC Foundation is inspiring and preparing a global community of over one million students to become innovative leaders. About FIRST: FIRST® is a robotics community that prepares young people for the future through a suite of inclusive, team-based robotics programs for ages 4-18 (PreK-12) that can be facilitated in school or in structured afterschool programs. Boosted by a global support system of volunteers, educators, and sponsors that include over 200 of the Fortune 500 companies, teams operate under a signature set of FIRST Core Values to conduct research, fundraise, design, build, and showcase their achievements during annual challenges. An international not-for-profit organization founded by accomplished inventor Dean Kamen in 1989, FIRST has a proven impact on STEM learning, interest, and skill-building well beyond high school. Participants and alumni of FIRST programs gain access to education and career discovery opportunities, connections to exclusive scholarships and employers, and a place in the FIRST community for life.

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MANUFACTURING TECHNOLOGY

Lordstown Motors and Foxconn Broaden Strategic Partnership

Lordstown Motors | November 08, 2022

Lordstown Motors Corp. (“Lordstown Motors” or “LMC”) (Nasdaq: RIDE), an original equipment manufacturer of electric vehicles focused on the commercial fleet market, and Foxconn Ventures Pte. Ltd., an affiliate of global technology company Hon Hai Technology Group (“Foxconn”) (TWSE: 2317), today announced that they reached an agreement pursuant to which Foxconn agreed to make additional equity investments in LMC (collectively, the “Investment Transactions”) in the form of $70 million of LMC’s Class A common stock, $0.0001 par value per share (the “Common Stock”), and up to $100 million of a newly created Series A Convertible Preferred Stock, $0.0001 par value per share (the “Preferred Stock,” and together with the Common Stock, the “Securities”). Upon completion of the Investment Transactions, Foxconn is expected to hold all of LMC’s outstanding Preferred Stock and 18.3% of its Common Stock on a pro-forma basis, and will have the right to designate two members of LMC’s Board of Directors. Lordstown Motors will use the proceeds from the sale of the Common Stock for general corporate purposes and the proceeds from the sale of the Preferred Stock to fund development and design activities for a new electric vehicle program in collaboration with Foxconn (the “EV Program”). The $100 million direct Preferred Stock investment replaces the joint venture funding previously announced by Foxconn and LMC. Pursuant to the agreements governing the Investment Transactions, at an initial closing expected to be held on or about November 22, 2022 (the “Initial Closing”), subject to customary conditions, Foxconn will purchase an aggregate of approximately 12.9 million shares of Common Stock at a purchase price of $1.76 per share, resulting in total proceeds of $22.7 million, and 300,000 shares of Preferred Stock at a purchase price of $100 per share, resulting in total proceeds of $30 million. The remaining shares of Preferred Stock will be purchased by Foxconn based on achieving certain EV Program funding milestones to be agreed-upon by the parties. Following receipt of applicable regulatory approvals, including a review by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (“CFIUS”), and subject to other customary conditions, Foxconn will purchase an additional 26.9 million shares of Common Stock at a purchase price of $1.76 per share, resulting in total proceeds of approximately $47.3 million (the “Subsequent Common Closing”). Pursuant to the transaction agreements, Foxconn has also been granted the right to participate in future equity offerings by LMC to prevent dilution of its ownership interest. The agreements governing the Investment Transactions provide, among other things, that: Conversion Rights and Limitations: Upon certain terms and conditions, Foxconn can convert the Preferred Stock into shares of Common Stock and LMC can force a conversion of the Preferred Stock into shares of Common Stock, in each case, at a conversion price of $1.936, subject to customary adjustments. Conversion of the Preferred Stock is subject to the following ownership limitations (the “Ownership Limitations”): the Preferred Stock cannot be converted if Foxconn would own in excess of 9.99% of LMC’s outstanding Common Stock at any time prior to CFIUS clearance and the Subsequent Common Closing, or 19.99% of LMC’s outstanding Common Stock at any time prior to LMC obtaining stockholder approval. Voting Rights and Limitations: The Preferred Stock is generally entitled to vote with the Common Stock as a single class on an as-converted basis. However, Foxconn is not entitled to vote its Preferred Stock to the extent that Foxconn would have the right to vote in respect of its Common Stock, Preferred Stock, or other capital stock an amount that would exceed the Ownership Limitations. Standstill: Until at least December 31, 2024, without approval of LMC’s Board of Directors, Foxconn is prohibited from acquiring any equity securities of LMC if after any such acquisition Foxconn and its affiliates would own in excess of the following amounts of LMC’s voting stock: 9.99%, at any time prior to CFIUS clearance and the Subsequent Common Closing; 19.99%, at any time prior to LMC obtaining stockholder approval; and 24%, at all times following the Subsequent Common Closing and after receipt of the requisite stockholder approval. Board Representation: Foxconn will have the right to appoint two designees to LMC’s Board of Directors after receiving CFIUS clearance and consummation of the Subsequent Common Closing. Foxconn will relinquish its Board seats if it does not maintain a certain level of ownership of LMC’s capital stock. Voting Agreement: Until at least December 31, 2024, Foxconn has agreed to vote all of its shares of Common Stock and Preferred Stock (to the extent then entitled to vote) in favor of each director recommended by the Board and in accordance with any recommendation of the Board on all other proposals (other than any action related to any merger or business combination or other change of control transaction or sale of assets). Participation Rights: Following the Subsequent Common Closing, other than with respect to certain excluded issuances, Foxconn has the right to participate in securities offerings proposed to be made by LMC, provided, that LMC is not required to sell Foxconn securities if LMC would be required to obtain stockholder approval under any applicable law or regulation. Termination of Existing JV Arrangement: LMC and Foxconn have agreed to terminate the existing joint venture arrangement between Lordstown EV Corporation and Foxconn EV Technology, Inc. The EV Program and future vehicle development are expected to take place within LMC. “Since announcing our first transaction with Foxconn more than a year ago, it has been our objective to develop a broad strategic partnership that leverages the capabilities of both companies. Foxconn’s latest investment is another step in that direction. Our Board of Directors and management team strongly believe that deep collaboration with the Foxconn EV ecosystem, including the Mobility-in-Harmony (MIH) open-source platform, offers tremendous opportunities to meet our mutual ambition to accelerate EV adoption globally. I look forward to welcoming Foxconn representatives to our Board and exploring other ways to deepen our partnership.” -Daniel Ninivaggi, Executive Chairman of LMC. Edward Hightower, CEO and President of LMC commented: Over the last year, the LMC and Foxconn teams have worked collaboratively to bring the Endurance into commercial production, despite numerous external challenges. We acknowledge and appreciate the confidence in our team that is shown by this investment. The combination of LMC’s experienced vehicle development team, Foxconn’s growing EV ecosystem, the MIH platform, and our asset-light business model will allow us to bring great EVs to market faster and more efficiently. About Lordstown Motors Corp. Lordstown Motors is an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) of electric vehicles focused on the commercial fleet market, with the Endurance all electric pick-up truck as its first vehicle being launched at the Foxconn EV plant in the Lordstown, Ohio facility. Lordstown Motors has engineering, research and development facilities in Farmington Hills, Michigan and Irvine, California.

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MANUFACTURING TECHNOLOGY

Ring Container Technologies Awarded EcoVadis’ Gold Sustainability Rating

Ring Container Technologies | November 10, 2022

Ring Container Technologies, a leader in the plastic container manufacturing industry, today announced that the company received a gold medal sustainability rating from EcoVadis, the leading platform for environmental, social, and ethical performance ratings for global supply chains. The rating puts Ring among the top 5% of all companies assessed. The objective of the EcoVadis methodology is to measure the quality of a company’s sustainability management system through its policies, actions, and results. The assessment focuses on 21 sustainability criteria that are grouped into four themes: Environment, Labor & Human Rights, Ethics, and Sustainable Procurement. Ranking in the 98th percentile, Ring was only one point shy of achieving a platinum rating. From last year’s honors to this year, the company’s score increased by 20 points, from silver to gold status. As an industry leader in sustainability practices, Ring’s proprietary technologies have been recognized for reducing food waste, minimizing material and energy usage, and being fully recyclable. “EcoVadis’ trusted, standard rankings reinforce Ring’s commitment to investing in making products and innovations more sustainable and eco-friendly, The progress made within the company throughout the last year is evidence of that. Our customers rely on Ring not only for their shipments on time and in full, but also for sustainable solutions. We are proud to deliver on that.” -Brian Smith, Ring Container President and Chief Operating Officer. In addition to a high-ranking EcoVadis performance, Ring is involved in several other initiatives to support environmental protection. Last year, the company pledged a 20% energy intensity reduction, on average across all plants, by 2028 through the Department of Energy’s Better Plants Program. And across the country, 100% of plants have committed to Operation Clean Sweep to keep plastic debris out of waterways. To date, the EcoVadis database counts more than 90,000 rated companies in 175 countries and 200 industries. Approximately 750 multinational enterprises, representing over 47,000 procurement and sustainability professionals, have selected EcoVadis to assess and monitor their global supplier base or selected business partners. About Ring Container Technologies: Ring Container Technologies is a multinational corporation headquartered in Oakland, Tennessee. Focused on developing container technology solutions for its customers for more than 50 years, the company has grown to be an industry innovation leader and one of the largest plastic container manufacturers in North America. With a commitment to be fiscally, socially, and environmentally responsible, Ring Container Technologies strives to advance innovation while exceeding expectations by design.

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Spotlight

Learn more about our Digital and Consulting Services to see how we can help your facility with digital transformation and industry 4.0 efforts! SICK is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of sensors, safety systems, machine vision, encoders and automatic identification solutions and environmental monitors for factory, logistics, and process automation. Whether automating factories, optimizing distribution centers or monitoring air quality, SICK provides cost-effective solutions.

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