Nano Dimension Makes Highly Strategic Acquisition

By on November 4th, 2021 in Corporate, news

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Fully assembled PCB [Source: Essemtec]

Nano Dimension announced the acquisition of Essemtec AG, in a deal that could change 3D printed electronics forever.

If you’re not familiar with Nano Dimension, that might be understandable for Fabbaloo readers. Rather than 3D printing mechanical parts, Nano Dimension’s Dragonfly 3D printer is specialized to 3D print PCBs, printed circuit boards. They are one of the largest publicly traded 3D print companies, and we watch their progress in our weekly 3D stock report.

Their equipment can 3D print complex, multi-layer PCBs and even in non-planar configurations. This allows for the production of highly compact electronics for small devices, for example.

However, as interesting as that might be, Dragonfly’s output isn’t actually working circuit boards. They can produce the board itself, as well as the electrical traces on and within the board. The Dragonfly cannot 3D print electronic chips or other sophisticated electronic components that you might find mounted on a PCB.

That will almost certainly change with the new acquisition, because Essemtec specializes in those components. Specifically, they produce:

  • Component storage solutions
  • Pick and place equipment to select and mount chips
  • Paste dispensers to apply solder paste
  • Reflow ovens to melt the solder and connect the chips to a PCB

On top of all that, they also have sophisticated software to make this equipment work together.

Here is a video from Essemtec showing their PCB assembly process:

Let’s consider what just happened: Nano Dimension, which can produce highly complex PCBs, now owns a means to apply chips and components to those PCBs in an efficient manner suitable for large scale production.

If you can imagine how this might play out, Nano Dimension could theoretically link these technologies together into a single system that would literally be able to produce fully functional PCBs. Add to that capability the non-planar PCBs of Dragonfly and we have an incredibly powerful combination.

Nano Dimension CEO Yoav Stern said:

“ESSEMTEC’s scientists and engineers and other team members, all of whom joined Nano Dimension upon closing of this transaction, are leading experts and industry veterans in machine building, software, mechanical automation, and robotics. They are going to continue to be led by their present management crew, supported by Ziki Peled, COO of Nano Dimension.

ESSEMTEC’s present products fit Nano Dimension’s PCB and PCB assembly markets, as well as the Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM) verticals which we serve. As such, we hope to leverage the distribution channels and go-to-market efforts of both organizations. In parallel, our mutual vision is to merge the technologies of our micro-electronic 3D-fabrication machines for Hi-PEDs (Hi-Performance Electronic Devices) with ESSEMTEC’s fuller suite of in-fabrication-process-equipment-assembly capabilities.”

Terms of the deal were straightforward: Essemtec was to receive US$15.1M upon closing, and up to an additional US$9.7M for hitting specified performance milestones over the next 14 months. This makes the total value of the deal worth up to US$24.8M.

Essemtec has a notable 60% margin on their products, so it will be quite interesting to see how Nano Dimension’s stock price changes over this week.

Via Nano Dimension

By Kerry Stevenson

Kerry Stevenson, aka "General Fabb" has written over 8,000 stories on 3D printing at Fabbaloo since he launched the venture in 2007, with an intention to promote and grow the incredible technology of 3D printing across the world. So far, it seems to be working!

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