Generational Equity Advises Sale of Its Client, R.G. Custom Manufacturing to a Private Investor

Generational Equity | July 23, 2020

Generational Equity, a leading mergers and acquisitions advisor for privately held businesses, is pleased to announce the sale of its client, R.G. Custom Manufacturing Inc., to a private investment company focused on making manufacturing industry acquisitions. The acquisition closed April 16, 2020 and details were not disclosed.

R.G. Custom Manufacturing, located in Cambridge, Ontario, Canada was founded in 1990 and specializes in custom precision machining; taking on more complicated work that generates higher margins and less competition. The company is ISO certified and one of the strengths of the business is the apprenticeship training the owner provides and which helps retain good expertise and stable employees.

Generational Equity Executive Managing Director M&A East, David Fergusson and his team, led by Senior Managing Director of M&A, Mike Hammer with support from VP Corey Painter, successfully closed the deal. Senior Managing Director, David Robinson established the initial relationship with R.G Custom Manufacturing.

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Behind additive manufacturing technologies lies the know-how and knowledge of qualified people on cutting-edge subjects. It is quite clear that 3D printing attracts many profiles and companies have been recruiting, but in what proportions? What are the recruiting trends in 3D printing?


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3D PRINTING

Desktop Metal and Lumafield Introduce Supply Chain Resilience Solution to Help Manufacturers Easily Scan and 3D Print Parts

Desktop Metal | May 20, 2022

Desktop Metal, Inc. a global leader in additive manufacturing technologies for mass production, and Lumafield, a startup offering the world’s first accessible industrial X-ray CT platform, today announced a complete solution to help manufacturers quickly and accurately produce high-demand parts with an easy system to scan and 3D print. As a result of the COVID pandemic, manufacturers have been faced with historic supply chain disruptions, along with wide swings in pricing and inventory – a challenge highlighted by the Biden Administration’s recent announcement of the AM Forward initiative to strengthen U.S. supply chains by supporting adoption of additive manufacturing (AM), or industrial 3D printing. Additive manufacturing offers the ability to cost-effectively in-source production and reduce supply chain risk, but often requires manufacturers to have CAD models of their parts. That has been a significant barrier; manufacturers often rely on thousands or millions of parts, many of which were designed years ago and don’t have associated CAD files. 3D scanning has been proposed as a solution, but it’s limited to capturing exterior part features. The Supply Chain Resilience package from Desktop Metal and Lumafield closes that gap by joining 3D printing with X-ray computed tomography, also known as CT scanning. The combination of these technologies allows manufacturers to scan old parts and reproduce them quickly in a variety of materials using 3D printing. Lumafield’s CT platform digitizes parts with a series of X-ray images that capture both external and internal features in detail, using powerful cloud-based software to create a 3D model that can be exported as a mesh representation for 3D printing. Desktop Metal’s software and 3D printers can then turn those mesh models back into high-quality metal or polymer parts, making it possible to seamlessly replace legacy manufacturing processes with in-house 3D printing. “Manufacturers have wanted to replace legacy fabrication processes with 3D printing for a long time, but digitalization of parts has been a barrier, With accessible CT scanning, we finally have the digitization solution we need to quickly convert old designs into complete CAD files for 3D printing.” Ric Fulop, Founder and CEO of Desktop Metal “The last two years have been profoundly disruptive, and we cannot expect our supply chains to return to normal,” said Eduardo Torrealba, Co-Founder and CEO of Lumafield. “Fortunately, we now have the technology to seamlessly bring production in-house, taking control of our supply chains and reducing risk.” Supply Chain Resilience Package Details Customers interested in pairing a Lumafield scanner with a Desktop Metal printer can customize the solution that best fits their needs. Desktop Metal printers initially included in this offering include: All metal printers, including the Desktop Metal Shop System™, which was built as a turnkey solution for smaller enterprises and is offered in a 4-, 8-, 12- or 16-liter package. Also included: the Studio System™, X-Series and all Production System™ models, which includes the P-1 and P-50 – the latter of which is the world’s fastest system to 3D print metal parts at scale. All ETEC DLP polymer 3D printing systems, which includes the D4K, P4K, Envision One XL or Xtreme 8K, which offer a wide range of price points, build volumes and potential polymer material sets, including elastomers, hard plastics, high temperature plastics, and biocompatible materials. Lumafield’s Neptune scanner is a revolutionary advance over legacy CT systems. It’s at home in any office or workshop environment, ready to become an everyday tool for entire engineering teams. With a user-friendly touchscreen and AI-powered configuration, anyone can use it with minimal training—no dedicated operator required. Lumafield’s cloud-based Voyager software turns scans into actionable insights and is included with every Neptune scanner. In addition to producing mesh exports for 3D printing, it offers intuitive visualizations that reveal invisible features, measurement tools that take guesswork out of inspection, and a powerful automated analysis engine that pinpoints voids, pores, and cracks before they turn into critical problems. Voyager runs in the cloud, accessible through any desktop web browser, so teams can collaborate and share data in real time. The Supply Chain Resilience package is available to any company that purchases a Desktop Metal 3D printer and reserves a Lumafield CT scanner between May 1 and July 1, 2022. Customers will be entitled to a package benefit of 15 CT scans and application engineering support through Lumafield’s scanning service while they wait for delivery of their Neptune scanner, currently expected to take place in the fourth quarter of 2022. 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, named to MIT Technology Review’s list of 50 Smartest Companies, and the 2021 winner of Fast Company’s Innovation by Design Award in materials and Fast Company’s Next Big Things in Tech Award for sustainability. About Lumafield Lumafield, based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, offers the world’s first accessible industrial X-ray CT platform, giving engineers the ability to see their work clearly, inside and out, for less than $3,000 per month. By offering unprecedented visibility into products, as well as AI-driven tools that highlight problems and generate quantitative data, Lumafield promises to revolutionize the way complex products are created, manufactured, and used across industries.

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OPERATIONS

BERKS Group Announces Acquisition of 180 Skills

BERKS Group | January 13, 2022

BERKS Group announces the acquisition of 180 Skills. 180 Skills is focused on skills-based training to help manufacturers increase productivity and decrease turnover. This is an exciting addition to BERKS education technology platform," said Doug Krebs, Operating Partner, BERKS Group. "It fits perfectly with our goal to be a leader in innovative on-line education tools for business and individuals who want to grow. 180 has one of the world's largest libraries of on-line skills courses for manufacturing. Courses range from technical training to specific compliance and regulatory content. The course work provides powerful tools for employers, schools, workforce boards and associations to build their people. "We are passionate about providing learning opportunities that help both people and businesses be more productive,Our partnership with BERKS allows us to expand our reach and get these important learning tools into the hands of more people across the country." -Joe Kitterman, Founder, 180 Skills The BERKS education technology platform already includes Valor Manufacturing Training. Valor is delivering interactive training content for companies in the food and precision manufacturing industries. "Both Valor and 180's training solutions are helping companies get their people trained faster, providing critical safety and compliance learning and ultimately increases productivity for their clients." -Dr. Nate Walts, General Manager, BERKS Group. About BERKS Group The BERKS Group is a diversified family of companies with holdings in education technology, high-value precision manufacturing, technology infrastructure and better-for-you consumer brands. The Bradley family also owns the News-Press & Gazette Company which has media holdings in digital, broadcast television, radio and publishing. www.BERKSGroup.com About 180 Skills 180 Skills is an end-to-end online manufacturing skills training solution that enables employers, educators, and workforce professionals to deliver on-demand, high-quality, low-cost, manufacturing skills training. Since 2009, they have worked with companies and educators to create the world's largest library of skills training courses that includes workplace & soft skills, risk management & compliance skills, quality and continuous improvement skills, and technical skills for industrial careers. www.180skills.com About Valor Manufacturing Training Valor Manufacturing Training offers employee training and retention solutions by providing turn-key, state of the art training content and delivery platforms to manufacturing organizations to reduce the long and short-term costs associated with training, employee turnover and retention. The Company was founded in 2016 and became a part of the NPG/BERKS Group portfolio in 2018. www.valormanufacturingtraining.com

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MANUFACTURING TECHNOLOGY

HWAFUNE Breaks Through Textile Difficulties with Porlite by Creating New Trends in Functional Fabrics

HWAFUNE | June 28, 2022

When mentioning Taiwan's traditional manufacturing, what pops into your head may be the textile industry. As a global hub for textile manufacturing, Taiwan has undergone significant changes over the past 30 years. Two of the most important changes are the relocation of industries to China and the government's New Southbound Policy. While Taiwanese textile manufacturers' decision to relocate is mainly driven by the need to reduce costs using cheap overseas labor, the rising labor costs in Southeast Asia have forced the manufacturers to constantly move their production to other regions, turning them into textile industry nomads. Despite these two relocation trends, HWAFUNE Textile which specializes in manufacturing functional fabrics has insisted on keeping production in Taiwan to provide reliable, high-quality products for esteemed customers. Instead of blindly pursing low costs and low prices through contract manufacturing and ending up in the red ocean, HWAFUNE Textile has strengthened the foothold of the Taiwanese textile industry in the global luxury market. One of the hot topics in the functional apparel market in recent years is the European Union's ban on fabrics containing PTFE. Currently, membranes made of PU, TPU, and PTFE account for the majority of functional apparels. With superior moisture permeability and breathability, PTFE has been adopted more widely than the other two materials. However, when heated to high temperatures during the manufacturing process, PTFE will generate PFOA which is classified as a possible human carcinogen. In addition, greenhouse gas is produced when fabrics containing this material are incinerated. Even if the fabrics are buried in landfills, PFOA will not decompose and will be washed into the ocean by rain. It then gets into the atmosphere via evaporation and is transported to everywhere by airflow or rain. PFOA has even been found in polar bears' livers. Considering the potential impact of the EU's ban on the clothing market and consumers' fear of toxic substances, upmarket brands have been looking for alternative functional fabrics. Therefore, HWAFUNE has joined hands with Phoenix Innovative Materials to develop the functional fabric brand Porlite, which has rapidly won the heart of high-end functional apparel brands. "In Light of Future Trends, HWAFUNE Develops Porlite Fabrics with Phoenix Innovative Materialsto take interest in PP membranes five years ago. Although HWAFUNE has the ability to mass produce fabrics featuring PTFE, PU, and TPU membranes, he believes PP membranes will become a trend in the functional apparel industry since the lifecycle of the material, from the production of the membrane and the manufacturing of the fabrics to the disposal of the clothing, is more in line with increased environmental awareness, I can guarantee that Porlite is capable of replacing existing functional fabrics and can fully address high-end brands' product development requirements" -Jackson Chang,ChairmanHWAFUNE. Turning the ambitious vision into reality is not easy. In the past three years, these two companies worked closely on the manufacturing, testing, and modification of the membrane. Besides functionality, HWAFUNE also considered the needs of consumers during testing, such as waterproof, moisture permeability, and even the appearances of the fabrics after washing. The reason that Chairman Chang is so committed is because he has put himself in consumers' shoes in the first place. He thinks environmental protection, safety, non-toxicity, and practicability should be combined perfectly. Product developers should not need to choose between them, nor should they force consumers to compromise on environmental protection, price, or quality. Dr. Chang, who is responsible for technology development at Phoenix Innovative Materials, explains the three major advantages of Porlite which is produced through non-toxic manufacturing processes in Taiwan. Firstly, there are 10 billion pores arranged in an orderly manner on the membrane. As the pores are smaller than water molecules and bigger than air molecules, the fabric can resist water penetration, even under pressure, while maintaining breathability. Moreover, since most outdoor exercises are relatively intense and will create a lot of sweat during the process, Porlite can also transport moisture from the clothing to the atmosphere by diffusion through the membrane, thus providing moisture permeability and breathability that no other functional apparel on market can achieve. Porlite Captures Top Brands' Heart with Non-Toxic Manufacturing, Sustainability, Fastness to Washing, and Moisture Permeability In line with the HWAFUNE's commitment to sustainability, the Durable Water Repellent (DWR) for Porlite can endure at least 30 laundering cycles and rain-resistant for period of time, thus providing a longer life span. Manufacturing in Taiwan is one of the main reasons that Porlite has won favor with Europe-based tier-one sportswear brands. The high quality enables Porlite to stand out from other competitors and meet customers' needs for upscale and reliable products. Both the PP membrane developed by Phoenix Innovative Materials and the Porlite fabric created by HWAFUNE are manufactured in Taiwan. Thanks to their insistence on domestic production, the companies have established a high-tech brand image for Taiwanese textile companies widely recognized by overseas esteemed customers. These are valuable experiences for both Phoenix Innovative Materials and HWAFUNE. Instead of pursuing short-term profits through contract manufacturing services, Chairman Chang and Dr. Chang spent five years developing the Porlite fabric whose overwhelming advantages for environmental protection and functionality have spoken for itself. The goal is to establish bio-based manufacturing processes by using natural materials such as weeds as raw materials and to provide biodegradable products in 10 years.

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MANUFACTURING TECHNOLOGY

Anker Brings The Speed With Its First 3D Printer, The AnkerMake M5

AnkerMake | April 12, 2022

AnkerMake, Anker Innovations new 3D printing brand, announced today the launch of the AnkerMake M5, the first 3D printer designed to improve the user experience by reducing printing time up to 70%. The AnkerMake M5 is available today on Kickstarter.com, starting at an super early bird price of $429. "3D printers help us imagine a world where ideas and creative concepts can be instantly transformed into physical form. However, the reality is 3D printing can be slow, cumbersome, and difficult to figure out," said Steven Yang, CEO of Anker Innovations. "AnkerMake is committed to removing these pain points so that artists, inventors, hobbyists and DIY enthusiasts can take advantage of a more practical tool to bring their creations to life." The AnkerMake M5 solves the most critical issues that have prevented 3D printing from becoming a more mainstream endeavor. These issues include slow print speeds, the need to constantly supervise printing for errors and a needlessly complicated user experience. The AnkerMake M5 solves these issues by delivering: Quick and Easy Assembly 3D printing has never been this accessible. The M5 is designed is easy to set up in just three steps within 15 minutes. Several user-friendly features including 7x7 auto-leveling, PEI soft magnetic printing bed, auto-resume after power outage and printing notifications. These enhancements help the user focus completely on their prints instead of technical aspects and handcrafting. A New Standard in Print Speeds Thanks to its new PowerBoost technology, the AnkerMake M5 basic print speed is 250 mm/s, which can be used for printing jobs that require a smoother and more detailed finish. For faster print jobs, perfect for prototyping and less detailed finishes, the M5 can save even more time with an acceleration of the extruder up to 2,500 mm/s². In this print mode, the M5 can reduce the average print times by up to 70% in comparison to other 3D printers. Stable, Quality Printing The aluminum alloy die-casting design increases the weight of the base, reducing the center of gravity of the machine. The sleek design makes printing more stable and allows fast speeds and extreme acceleration. The installation error of the base is also reduced, improving the accuracy of the printing tool and surface even at high speeds with 0.1 mm precision. AI Print Monitoring The built-in HD camera will monitor print jobs for issues like layer splitting, spaghetti mess or nozzle plugging. When it detects an issue, the AnkerMake M5 will alert users. This feature helps avoid wasting time and valuable printing materials. Live WebCam View With Time Lapse Users can view live feeds of their print jobs from anywhere using the AnkerMake mobile app. Time lapse videos are also automatically generated after the printing job is complete. With an adaptive light-sensing algorithm, users can see the printer output clearly, even at night. Smart, Connected Printing The AnkerMake M5 can be seamlessly connected and controlled through both the AnkerMake mobile app and AnkerMake slicing software1. Multi-device management and remote messaging notifications enable the user to start printing from their smartphone or computer anytime, anywhere. Additional Specs: 5X industry average print speed (250 mm/s in standard print mode) 2,500 mm/s² in accelerated print mode Can reduce average print time by up to 70 percent AI print monitoring with auto shut-off Integrated HD cam with remote viewing Supports WiFi and USB connectivity Easy filament loading and extraction with heat assist Magnetic base for easy removal and cleaning Weight: 12.4 kg / 27.3 lb Measurement: 502x438x470 mm / 19.76x17.24x18.50 inches Price & Availability The AnkerMake M5 3D printer is available on Kickstarter.com starting today for special, limited super early bird price of $429. The normal early bird price is $499. Additional press materials, including product images, can be found here. 1 AnkerMake App and software will be available later this year at the commercial launch of AnkerMake M5. About Anker Innovations Anker Innovations is a global leader in charging technology and a developer of unique, consumer electronic products that support premium audio, mobile entertainment, and the emerging smart home space. This innovation is being led by its six key brands: Anker, AnkerWork, eufy, Nebula, Soundcore and now, AnkerMake. More information on Anker Innovations and its various brands can be found at anker.com. About AnkerMake AnkerMake is committed to becoming the world's #1 brand for intelligent manufacturing by helping artists, hobbyists, DIY enthusiasts and professional users bring their creations to life.

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Spotlight

Behind additive manufacturing technologies lies the know-how and knowledge of qualified people on cutting-edge subjects. It is quite clear that 3D printing attracts many profiles and companies have been recruiting, but in what proportions? What are the recruiting trends in 3D printing?

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