I am in Barcelona this week for the opening of HP’s new 3D Printing and Digital Manufacturing Center of Excellence.
I’ve appreciated previous visits to HP’s 3D printing labs just outside of Barcelona, in Sant Cugat del Vallès, and this one is something new. Again. The first time I trekked out here, it was in 2016 ahead of the official announcement of Multi Jet Fusion technology. Three years later, there’s much more to see — unsurprising for a company that has really embraced its tagline of “reinvent.”
Center of Excellence
The new Center is substantial in both size and scope. I’ll have more details from the inside as this week goes on, but we do have some initial information regarding the ‘what’ and the ‘why’ behind the expansive new facility.
One of the early things to remark on is more of an underscoring than a new announcement: HP is very consciously tying together “3D printing” and “digital manufacturing.” The concepts go hand-in-hand under the overall Industry 4.0 umbrella, but ensuring they stay connected in titling keeps these two terms closely intertwined for the customer (and the industry): 3D printing is a part of the very real, viable, global digital manufacturing landscape.
“HP’s new 3D Printing and Digital Manufacturing Center of Excellence is one of the largest and most advanced 3D printing and digital manufacturing research and development centers on earth – it truly embodies our mission to transform the world’s biggest industries through sustainable technological innovation,” said Christoph Schell, President of 3D Printing and Digital Manufacturing at HP Inc.
Indeed, at 150,000 square feet, there is no denying it is a large R&D center. HP says of the new 3+ acre facility that it not only brings together their own in-house team of 3D printing experts, but also “provides a large-scale factory environment to collaborate with customers and partners on the digital manufacturing technologies revolutionizing their industries.”
The Center is designed for collaboration, with HP expertise across disciplines from systems engineering, data intelligence, and software to materials science, design, and applications. Customers and partners will be able to work together in these and other areas for the next advances in both plastic and metal 3D printing with HP’s systems.
The company notes in particular that it has “flexible and interactive layouts, co-development environments, and fleets” of HP’s 3D printing systems in place to foster the collaborative dream.
So who’s collaborating? HP points to companies including BASF, GKN Metallurgy, Siemens, and Volkswagen. Automotive, industrial, healthcare, and consumer goods applications spaces will all see collaborative opportunity.
In addition to what’s inside, for HP it’s what’s on the outside that counts. The building itself is another tangible step toward HP’s goal to move wholly toward renewable energy in global operations, as the new Center features a photovoltaic canopy providing 110kW of power; reuses rain water; and was constructed with LEED certification in mind.
As for what’s inside — more soon right from Barcelona.
Via HP Inc.