A sudden announcement from 3D printer manufacturer ExOne describes some changes in the company’s approach to their US operations.
The very brief press release, the company explains:
The ExOne Company (NASDAQ:XONE) ("ExOne" or "the Company"), a global provider of three-dimensional ("3D") printing machines and 3D printed and other products, materials and services, announced that it will begin to refocus how it demonstrates and provides its industrial sand core and mold binder jet 3D printing services in North America.
To facilitate faster adoption of its technology, ExOne will refocus its production service centers located in Troy, Michigan and Houston, Texas into ExOne Adoption Centers ("EACs"). ExOne will expand these existing centers to provide a greater variety of its latest binder and material sets, including cold hardening phenolic and sodium silicate production, as well as an expanded range of its machine platforms and machine options. In addition, ExOne will create more robust, regionally-based material development services, as well as expand its technical and training services within the EACs.
What does this all mean? It seems that the company has observed significant demand for their 3D printing services, which, by the way, are used to produce sand cores for industrial molding. They’re trying to optimize their resources by concentrating such heavy physical operations into a selected number of locations, which will now also double as centers of excellence for their products, materials and services.
The company also seems to be dropping a “non-core” machining operation to focus more strongly on 3D printing business activity.
When you see a headline stating a company is “refocusing”, it often means bad news, sometimes very bad news. However, in this case it seems to be the opposite: they’re experiencing big demand in one business and so they’re optimizing how they deliver it and dropping anything else.
As one of the very few large 3D printer manufacturing companies that’s publicly traded, it might be interesting to see what the market says about this move. As of today, it seems that it’s being viewed positively, as their stock is rising.
This maneuver makes good business sense and is a strong signal that 3D printing technology is making inroads in the industrial market.