They invited the press to Sogeclair's booth at the Paris Air Show to announce the news: Philippe Robardey, CEO of Sogeclair (and Chairman of the CCI of Toulouse) and Vincent Ferreiro, CEO of the young Audubon company Addup, signed on Tuesday 20 June, an agreement for the creation of a joint venture specialising in additive manufacturing: PrintSky.
The company, which is 51% owned by Sogeclair and 49% owned by Addup, will be based in Toulouse. To accommodate several additive manufacturing machines, the Aviacomp site (subsidiary of Sogeclair created with Mecahers) will be extended by mid-2018.
"Rethinking parts and their functions"
PrintSky will be a consulting company and present itself as "an additive manufacturing technological platform giving access to design, certification and validation services up to prototypes and pre-production to demonstrate the concept with transmission to the customer of all parameters necessary for serial production". To this end, it will draw on the skills of engineer Sogeclair and Addup, itself the result of the collaboration of two major manufacturers, Fives and Michelin.
"Customers need support, notably to identify parts that are eligible for additive manufacturing, but also for the design and realisation of prototypes. We do not intend to produce the parts. To do this, we will refer our customers to subcontractors", added Vincent Ferreiro.
"When we talk about ALM, it is not a question of producing the same parts as in additive manufacturing by adding material instead of removing it. It is a matter of rethinking the parts and sub-assemblies, rethinking their functions, in the ALM prism", said Philippe Robardey.
The new company will build on existing 3D printing technologies, such as laser powder bed and electron beam, but new technologies are being developed through a major R&D programme led by Addup (for Additive Metal Industrial Manufacturing solutions).
The new joint venture does not communicate a forecast of turnover and remains vague on governance. "The company will be headed by a 'Sogeclair', myself or Marc Darolles", said Philippe Robardey.
Currently, 12 people from Addup and Sogeclair are working for PrintSky, which will evolve according to demand.