I had a chat with GKN Additive’s brand new President, John Dulchinos, to find out his thoughts on additive manufacturing.
GKN Additive is the design and manufacturing services arm of GKN Powder Metallurgy, which operates in ten countries. GKN Additive leverages powder metallurgy knowledge and AM industry tools to provide advanced component manufacturing for clients, producing millions of parts.
Dulchinos believes solution providers such as GKN Additive are important:
“There’s a big need for solution providers because they can marry additive with other processes. If an OEM had a problem, a tech provider could stitch it all together.”
I believe this to be true. The need for advanced parts has led many companies towards additive manufacturing, but getting it done can be an extremely complex matter requiring considerable expertise. And it’s not just routine operational skill: today’s parts frequently entirely new design and production approaches, requiring the ability to discover new methods as required.
Dulchinos is trying to create a market for this, which is perhaps needed more than customers realize. He said:
“It takes a lot of expertise to get it right, as fractions of a percent matter.”
I asked Dulchinos how the size of this market is growing, and he told me:
“We could solve a lot more customer issues, but the problem is that most people are not yet literate in the technology.”
In other words, there’s an educational gap required by many companies that have yet to fully grasp today’s advanced manufacturing approaches using AM.
“The value is in the wholistic design, where people are forced to think systematically. That does a much better job to solve the application problem, and produces more elegant solutions. You have to ask, ‘how does it fit into a larger perspective?’”
Component manufacturing today is an extraordinarily complex matter, as part requirements increase due to competition, manufacturing technologies dynamically evolve and more steps are involved. It’s a challenging situation, particularly for small to medium operations that don’t necessarily have the ability to quickly transform their processes.
This is why Dulchinos believes there is a large market for advanced component manufacturing. A vast number of companies have yet to examine the potential of producing components through additive processes. I asked Dulchinos how big could this market be, and how many parts could benefit. After a long pause and a smile he said:
“It could be in a lot more applications today.”
Via GKN Additive