Falcon Technologies International Ras Al Khaimah aims to scale Additive Manufacturing in the Middleeast | Exclusive Interview
Conducive government policies across the middle east are leading to the right environment for the adoption of Additive Manufacturing in the region. Various organisations are playing their roles in setting up a strong foundation for the growth of Additive Manufacturing in the Middleeast. Falcon Technologies International is one such organisation. Falcon Technologies International is a leading world class manufacturer of professional optical data storage media and archival solutions provider. FTI has diversified from an optical storage media company to become an Additive Manufacturing hub.
To find out more about their approach and the overall trend in the middle east, Aditya Chandavarkar, Managing Editor, AM Chronicle got the opportunity to interact with Sanjay Gupta, Chief Executive Officer, Falcon Technology International and Manoj S Pillai AVP AM Falcon Technologies International.
Sanjay is an engineering professional with 35 years of rich & versatile experience of mass manufacturing in consumer electronic & high technology industries. Sanjay Gupta is the Chief Executive Officer of Falcon Technology International, company at Ras Al Khaimah, United Arab Emirates. His core competence is to bring in operational synergies to create excellence in manufacturing. Under his leadership, FTI has achieved highest standards of Productivity, Quality, Cost Leadership & created “Best in the Industry” benchmark in optical disc & additive manufacturing. He helped FTI to diversify into the adoption of digital manufacturing & support industry 4.0 by setting up the Polymer “Additive Manufacturing” facility which is the largest in middle east region.
Manoj is an Additive Manufacturing management professional with 17 years of overall experience in progressive roles. Thought leader and Industry expert in metal and polymer 3D printing technologies with focus on Industrial applications. Seven years of AM experience and demonstrated experience in strategy, execution, relationships building with customers & vendors and new business models for generating revenue pipelines.
Aditya Chandavarkar: Falcon Technologies International comes with a long legacy of being in the high precision manufacturing business, how does these inherent strengths complement setting up an Additive Manufacturing business unit?
Sanjay Gupta: FTI was established in 2004 to manufacture high end optical discs for Professional, Medical & Archival customers. FTI has largest class 7 cleanroom of 15000 sq meter in the middle east region. FTI is globally known for manufacturing excellence & best in the class. FTI follows industry’s best practices & has ISO certifications for Quality management system 9001, Environment management system 14001 & Occupational health & Safety OHSAS 45001. FTI in 2020 decided to diversify into the adaptation of digital manufacturing & support industry 4.o for sustainable growth by setting up one of the largest Polymer Additive manufacturing facilities in middle east region. FTI in a short span of time has become the market leader for serial production of AM parts & products in Medical, Consumer & Automotive space.
Aditya Chandavarkar: What are the major industry focus areas for FTI with Additive Manufacturing?
Manoj Pillai: FTI is the approved contract manufacturing partner for EOS in the middle east region. Our focus is on Industrial applications. For the polymer business, our major focus is on medical sector, we have systems and personal capable of O&P data acquisition, design, interaction with practitioners and plan to become the Central Fabrication Hub for 3D printed O&P in the region. Another area of focus is the automotive sector, where we do short series production for our regional customers. The third area is industrial prototyping where we support industries in the initial design phase and that includes aerospace and Oil and gas.
Aditya Chandavarkar: Challenges and Opportunities faced in the Middle East Region for adoption of Additive Manufacturing? Any milestones which FTI has achieved in the AM space?
Sanjay Gupta: FTI is the only AM company in middle east to have ISO 13485 certification related to Design & Development, Manufacturing and Distribution of Medical device parts for Orthotics and Prosthetics applications. FTI is using the best of technologies MJF (HP) & SLS (EOS) for production of AM parts. FTI is the local Contract manufacturing partner for EOS in Middle East region.Opportunities in AM are increasing every day and we have a very positive outlook for the industry in the region. For FTI AM, On-Demand Digital manufacturing is the key driver of technology in near future. FTI plans to create online platform for Print-On-Demand. This will enable customer to upload his CAD file on the portal & FTI design team will carry out DFM & directly print the part. FTI is working with one of the leading manufacturing company at RAK to digitalize their spare part inventory management.
Having said that, there are many challenges in terms of customers awareness & adaptation on AM technology, lack of clarifications regarding IPR’s on designs digitization & component replacements. Pandemic and the recent logistics issues have further accelerated the thoughts about self-sufficiency and decentralized manufacturing in the region, leading to glocalization (Global Design and Local manufacturing). And this is good news for AM, UAE by virtue of its location and forward-thinking leadership is embracing this new shift and will become the hub of 3D in the middle east.
Aditya Chandavarkar: What does the future look like at FTI and in the Middle East with Additive Manufacturing?
Manoj Pillai: We expect to touch a revenue of 2.5 million USD per year in parts printing in the near future. We are developing expertise in the medical field by brining scanning and design expertise enabling better communication with the O&P practitioners and will become the Hub for medical 3D printing. We expect the metal 3D printing market to grow, especially in the Oil and gas, Aerospace, Defense and Nuclear industry. FTI has decided to expand & set up Metal AM in FY 2022. FTI has partnered with one of the leading European Metal technology company for Go to market strategy & identify business opportunities in Energy, Mobility & aerospace. A public announcement will be happening shortly. We are also actively exploring AM technologies that can enable us in repair of components for Marine Industry.
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