Metal AM To Grow Annually By 25% says Ampower

At Formnext 2019, the Germany based Additive Manufacturing consultancy – Ampower, published an industrial metal Additive Manufacturing market and technology report. The report focuses on industrial metal Additive Manufacturing and provides a deep dive into the current state of the industry.

Ampower was founded in 2017 as an independent consultancy which specializes in metal Additive Manufacturing. The company offers trainings, market analysis and qualification support for user and supplier of the industry. In 2019, Ampower took the challenge to conduct their first global market report which was published at Formnext 2019 in November. The full report can be accessed via this link. Use the Special AM Chronicle discount code: MTQ2ZJNLG2 for a 10% discount on the report. This article gives an overview of the key findings of the report.

The Ampower report is structured into two sections, the Technology Section and the Market Section. The technology section covers the different Additive Manufacturing processes as well as deep dives into cost, design for Additive Manufacturing and material aspects. The market section gives access to the market numbers segmented in regions, industries, technologies and other aspects.

Figure 1 Metal Additive Manufacturing market 2018 and supplier forecast 2023

Maturing market characteristics

Key findings of the market analysis are the total annual revenues and growth rates. In 2018 the metal Additive Manufacturing supply chain industry reported revenues of 1,51 billion EUR and projects a CAGR of 25,0 % to surpass 4,6 billion EUR in 2023. End-users second this by expecting a yearly growth of 21,3 % of their metal Additive Manufacturing business. Market expectations of supply chain and users align with a tendency of overly high expectations on supply chain side which indicates a maturing industry, where market push and pull are almost even. The largest part of the supply chain consists of system sales with a total revenue of 830 million EUR in 2018 followed by materials with 390 million EUR. The report goes more into detail about the different segments of the market in terms of regions, technologies, materials and industries.

Besides the overall market numbers, the derived survey data also allows for more in-depth conclusions. The staff analysis, for example, leads to a total of over 40.000 employees directly working in metal Additive Manufacturing on user and supply chain side. The ratio of people employed by this market versus the total market volume shows the still early R&D stage of the technology. Many users have less than 5 metal systems and currently go through extensive R&D and qualification work. Only a handful of users run over 10 systems in a production environment with over 7000 h of annual run time.

The current status of the industry can be described as “on the threshold of production”. While industries like medical are already in full production, most applications are in R&D or qualification status. Machine sales are expected to grow slower in 2019 and 2020 due to ongoing R&D activities, but the report suggest an increase in sales in 2021 once many applications in industries such as aviation and oil & gas are expected to pass the qualification requirements.

Diversity of technologies

By covering more than 15 different metal Additive Manufacturing technologies, the report provides an overview of the whole diversity of the industry. The report lists over 120 system suppliers for Metal AM technologies with more than 50 % of metal AM suppliers located in either USA, Germany or China. Laser Beam Powder Bed Fusion (LB-PBF) is the most represented metal AM technology with over 40% of the listed suppliers. Around 58 suppliers are providing systems with this technology. The most maturing technologies besides LB-PBF are Electron Beam PBF, Laser Metal Depositioning (LMD) and Wire Arc Additive Manufacturing (WAAM) technologies. On the other hand, many of the known technologies are still in an early development stage with no or very few systems on the market.

The applications section contains a catalogue with over 40 different metal Additive Manufacturing applications with industrial relevance. Prototypes or study parts are not part of this application catalogue. As expected, most industrial applications are based on LB-PBF technology. However, the number of Metal Fused Depositioning Modelling (M-FDM), Binder Jetting and WAAM applications is increasing.

The cost section contains data about the cost aspects of the different metal Additive Manufacturing technologies. Readers of the report can calculate cost estimations for their components with a simplified cost tool. Most new technologies are focusing on cost advantages compared to LB-PBF. This is most evident for Binder Jetting. With a high packing density of the build envelope, cost can potentially be reduced by over 50% in comparison to LB-PBF.

Technology and market outlook

With more new technologies maturing over time, the diversity of the metal Additive Manufacturing market is expected to increase. Novel applications will drive the technology and each industry will readjust their focus. While medical will remain focusing on LB-PBF and EB-PBF, in aviation, the WAAM and LMD technologies will receive more attention for a wide range of applications. In consumer, automotive and other high-volume industries, sinter-based technologies like Binder Jetting are expected to surpass LB-PBF.

The readers of AM Chronicle have a special offer where they can avail a 10% discount on the purchase of the Ampower Report. Discount Code: MTQ2ZJNLG2

About the author

Matthias Schmidt-Lehr

Matthias Schmidt-Lehr

Matthias successfully led multiple projects in Additive Manufacturing with focus on business case and strategic development for AM users as well as system and material supplier. With a history in management consulting he has a wide experience in business development, strategy development and communication. At AMPOWER he led multiple projects concerning DED, BJT and Metal FDM as well as a wide range of polymer AM technologies.