Materials Solutions Ltd
In late 2018, Materials Solutions Ltd became the first occupants at Worcester Six, one of Worcestershire’s flagship industrial developments. The move was part of a €30 million investment by Materials Solution’s parent company, Siemens, and represented a commitment by the industrial giant to its future operations in Worcestershire and to its team of highly skilled employees.
Named after its location on Junction 6 of the M5, the site provides Materials Solutions Ltd with first class access to one of the best transport networks in the UK. A stone’s throw away from Birmingham Airport, the site is convenient for customers and employees alike and offers access to a local talent pool that meets the business’ needs.
The site at Worcester Six covers some 4,400 m2. Around 40 people are currently employed in a range of occupations, including specialist engineering, operations, quality control, sales, accounts and management. Customers are drawn from across the UK, throughout Europe and internationally. Currently there are nineteen industrial metal 3D printers deployed at the site, with ambitious plans to accommodate over 50 machines as the business grows in line with customer demands.
Working closely with customers in the power generation, aerospace, automotive and motorsport industries, Materials Solutions specialises in turning customers’ design concepts into high-end 3D prototypes and low volume serial production. Finished components have real life application, providing the same quality, governance and traceability as more traditionally produced materials.
Using additive manufacturing and premium metals such as nickel based superalloys, titanium and steel, components are produced ‘layer by layer’. Parts can be created from ‘the inside out’, enabling features to be incorporated that cannot be achieved by traditional casting processes. Rather than the lengthy period of time required by more traditional methods to develop specialist tooling and moulds before a prototype can be generated, Materials Solutions can create rapid 3D printed prototypes direct from customers’ design concepts and 3D models.
3D print technology has been in development for more than 20 years, and Materials Solutions has itself been involved in 3D printing since 2006. Building on this experience, the company has developed an in-depth understanding of additive manufacturing, materials’ properties and capabilities. They state: “If you can dream it, we can print it”, and while there are obvious restrictions in terms of the size and scope of what can be achieved, possible applications for the technology continue to grow.
General Manager, Phil Hatherley, comments: “We chose Worcestershire because it offers our business great connectivity and accessibility. As we continue to grow and invest in the county, we are confident that it will also provide us with access to the talent pool we need.”