Roboze is focusing on the US market.
International expansion is a necessity in global businesses, and the 3D printing industry is seeing a large influx of activity in this area. Many 3D printer manufacturers have been announcing new offices and facilities located thousands of miles away from their HQs, and the moves are always strategic. Building a business is one thing; building that same business in a wholly different business environment is another.
3D printing is a global industry, with participants on every continent. International relations, though, aren’t always so clean as “I need this solution in this place.” There are cultural differences, taxes and tariffs, staffing and budgetary concerns, different market saturations and needs… the considerations, in short, are many. Success in a home country doesn’t always translate to smooth sailing in additional markets. Indeed, we’ve seen businesses completely dedicated to global market strategies. But those companies opening up operations overseas have seen undeniable opportunities that merit having a force on the ground with dedicated focus.
So it is for Italy-based Roboze, which focuses on “strong like metal” polymer 3D printing.
Roboze has experience with both direct sales and working via resellers for their 3D printers. Sales is a focus for 2019; the company has forecast 500% growth this year. That necessarily includes selling outside of Italy.
Appearing at RAPID + TCT for their third appearance at North America’s largest 3D printing-dedicated event last week, I sat down with Ilaria Guicciardini, the company’s Marketing Director, to catch up on what’s new with Roboze.
The show marked the US debut of the ROBOZE One Xtreme and ROBOZE One+400 Xtreme systems, which were first shown at formnext. The Xtreme series offer notable technical improvements over the already-robust earlier-generation Roboze systems, and bringing them to the US was a nice way to show them directly at a major event.
“We are expanding our US network,” Guicciardini said. “We are investing in the US. Our market in EMEA is growing; we are set for success in Europe. Now we are setting for success in the US and Canada.”
Particularly encouraging for Roboze’s North American focus was their showing at September’s IMTS in Chicago.
“This was a great show; people came to me asking for solutions to their problems. There is a huge request in industry for metal replacement, for tooling with Carbon PA, where ours is two times stronger than our main competitor’s, and is close to aluminum,” Guicciardini said.
The Xtreme series machines are “fit for extreme use in environments that are dirty,” she added. The systems were designed to appeal to industries like aerospace and automotive, where results matter and working conditions are often demanding. We’ll soon see some new case studies emerge to highlight real-world results in aerospace. She noted as well that they have seen “very good results” in producing final parts for the automotive industry.
For Roboze, stepping further into the US is a continuation of a foundation they began building upon attending their first RAPID + TCT in 2017. That was “a step inside the market,” Guicciardini said, and “now we are really ready to grow in the US.” Differences in culture, pricing, and other aspects in the US as compared to what they have experienced in Europe have made a gradual move a smart choice for the company to acclimate to different conditions.
Reception has indeed been strong from Roboze’s customers so far, and the parts I’ve handled do indeed feel “strong like metal.” The industry-focused solutions and intentional move into additional markets show good business sense from the company; we’ve seen too many try to grow too far too fast, and getting just the right pace is important.
Having an established market reputation is also helping Roboze, as have their appearances at more shows and events. They are now aiming to create more connections with resellers in the US, and Guicciardini noted that they had built some interesting new leads. Roboze is also building up its own team in the US, staffing with those “who know the culture and the people” as they continue to invest in this market.