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LPW Technology

LPW Technology: AM materials specialist expands into metal powder production LPW Technology, a provider of ultra-clean metal powders for Additive Manufacturing, recently celebrated the official opening of its new purpose-built metal powder manufacturing facility in Widnes, Cheshire, UK. The result of a £20 million investment, the company expects that this new plant will be capable of producing around 1,000 tonnes of gas atomised alloy powders per annum, with complete digital integration of manufacturing control processes. Bernard Williams, Consulting Editor at Metal AM magazine, reports on his visit to the official opening of the 9,700 m2 plant and tour of the new facility.

LPW Technology Ltd was established in Lymm, Cheshire, UK, by Dr Phil Carroll in 2007, initially as a consultancy for developing machines and expert application support for metal AM processes. Over the first few years, Dr Carroll, who obtained his PhD in alloy development at the University of Sheffield, realised that no matter how good the Additive Manufacturing hardware or process, if the metal powders were not consistent it would be impossible to produce consistent additively manufactured parts from them. Therefore, over a period of less than ten years, the company focused on developing a full range of optimised alloy powders specifically for Laser Powder Bed Fusion (LPBF), Laser Metal Deposition (LMD) and Electron Beam Melting (EBM). Over the course of its development, LPW established that there is no single powder production process which is suited for all metal AM applications, and that one must develop and optimise powders for each process in order to achieve consistency.

Vol. 4 No. 2 © 2018 Inovar Communications Ltd

As a result of its efforts, LPW’s sales turnover has risen from around £100,000 in its first year, when it employed only two people, to an anticipated turnover of more than £15 million in 2018, with a staff of eighty-five. With this rapid growth, the company relocated to larger facilities first in Daresbury, then in Runcorn, before finally making

a significant investment in a new purpose-built AM metal powder manufacturing facility in Widnes, near Liverpool, capable of meeting the company’s growing need to produce small-to-medium volume batches of very clean gas atomised powders in-house; primarily custom titanium, nickel, cobalt, aluminium and steel alloys.

Fig. 1 LPW’s new purpose-built facility in Widnes, near Liverpool

Metal Additive Manufacturing | Summer 2018

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Profile for Inovar Communications

Metal AM Summer 2018  

The magazine for the Metal Additive Manufacturing and metal 3D Printing Industries. In addition to over 80 pages of the latest industry news...

Metal AM Summer 2018  

The magazine for the Metal Additive Manufacturing and metal 3D Printing Industries. In addition to over 80 pages of the latest industry news...