Michelin and Fives created a joint venture aimed at developing and marketing industrial machines and production shops on a global scale via metal additive manufacturing (metal 3D printing) technology. Based in France, Fives Michelin Additive Solutions will be 50% owned by Fives and 50% owned by Michelin. The joint venture will offer businesses in industries such as automotive and aerospace a complete solution, from the design and manufacture of machines and complete production lines to related services (redesign of parts, definition of the manufacturing process, installation, production support and training).
Michelin has been developing its expertise in metal additive manufacturing for several years to produce, on an industrial scale, mold parts that are unachievable using traditional means of production (such as machining and welding).
The joint venture, which will initially employ approximately 20 people from the Michelin and Fives teams, strives to build on the complementary expertise of the two groups to become a world leader in the segment of industrial solutions for mass production.
According to Fives, metal 3D printing, though a niche market, is rapidly expanding. Initially used to produce single parts with high added value, metal 3D printing technology is gaining a wider market and is starting to be used by OEMs, accessory suppliers and aircraft manufacturers.