The INDEX Group of Germany has acquired the majority of the shares in One Click Metal.
One Click Metal is a recent startup, having been founded only in 2019. They were a spin off from TRUMPF, a manufacturer of large-scale metal 3D printing production systems.
TRUMPF offers an internal program whereby staff are allocated time to work on related projects of their own. So far TRUMPF has sixteen projects of this type underway, and one of them was One Click Metal. The company began formal operations in 2019, producing easier-to-access metal 3D printers.
INDEX Group is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of CNC turning machines. They were first established over 100 years ago in 1914, and continues to produce advanced CNC equipment.
But they don’t produce additive manufacturing equipment, at least until now.
The addition of One Click Metal is a big step for the INDEX Group, as it lies outside their normal product range. Previously, their major acquisition was TRAUB Drehmaschinen in 1997, leading to their two major brands of INDEX and TRAUB. Could One Click Metal be a third brand?
Perhaps eventually that could be the case, although at the moment One Click Metal is still quite small, having only 20 staff.
But what about the previous major shareholder of One Click Metal, TRUMPF? INDEX Group’s press release states:
“TRUMPF remains involved as an active and strategic partner and will support the company’s future development in collaboration with INDEX.”
At first glance this seems strange: why would TRUMPF sell a business that in time could grow quite large to what might be considered a competitor? What is their strategy here?
I suspect that TRUMPF likely wants to focus on the high-end manufacturing business, and the size of that market should be able to support plenty of growth for TRUMPF in areas they know well.
This is likely the same reason they allowed the creation of One Click Metal in the first place: it addressed a market TRUMPF had no intention of entering.
In joining with INDEX Group, TRUMPF has found a partner that knows the market for lower-cost metal AM equipment: every INDEX Group CNC client is potentially a buyer of One Click Metal systems, now or in the future. INDEX Group no doubt has a sophisticated sales and distribution network into which One Click Metal’s affordable BOLD Series devices could fit quite well.
For those in One Click Metal, this could be great news, as it provides them with a means to grow they likely could not find within the TRUMPF umbrella. Even better, it sounds like TRUMPF will continue to help them along the way.
More metal 3D printing, that’s the result of this deal.
Via One Click Metal and INDEX Group (Hat tip to Benjamin)