The Laser Melting Innovations GmbH & Co. KG (LMI) is a spin-off from the cradle of metallic 3D printing of the Aachen Center for Additive Manufacturing (ACAM), the leading institute at RWTH Aachen University. The LMI team has more than 20 years of experience in the field of additive manufacturing and was founded with the aim of enabling small and medium-sized companies, vocational schools and universities to enter the fascinating world of laser metal melting at a reasonable purchase price. To this end, development work on the Alpha 140 printer began around three years ago. In the meantime, it has been successfully launched on the market and the first models have been delivered and are in production. Professor Dr.-Ing. Dipl.-Wirt.-Ing. Johannes Henrich Schleifenbaum, one of the founders of the LMI, explains: "Our goal is to democratize 3D metal printing in order to provide small and medium-sized businesses in particular with a cost-effective entry into the new world of digital manufacturing".
Kurtz Ersa, a family-run mechanical engineering and technology group with more than 240 years of experience, focuses on niche technologies and strives for world market leadership in each of its markets. The motto "tradition through diversification" has always ensured survival. Kurtz Ersa had been looking for a complement to the existing business areas for about a year. In low-pressure die casting, the Group is feeling the effects of the upheavals in the drive technology of the automotive market. "3D metal printing is an excellent complement to our relationships in the manufacturing scene," explains Rainer Kurtz, CEO of Kurtz Ersa.
The strategic cooperation between Kurtz Ersa and LMI is of enormous benefit to both parties. The Alpha 140 product will be marketed with immediate effect through Kurtz Ersa's worldwide distribution network. A worldwide 24-hour service is thus also available. The numerous demo centers will be equipped with machines featuring this technology step by step.
The Alpha 140 will be manufactured by the Kurtz GmbH machine factory in Kreuzwertheim. Kurtz Managing Director Uwe Rothaug has played a key role in preparing the cooperation and is looking forward to expanding the product range: "The cooperation will enable us to achieve a fantastically short time-to-market. For Kurtz Ersa, LMI's process know-how in the field of additive manufacturing is the key to entering the new business field. For LMI, as a young technology company, Kurtz Ersa's sales and service channels and the experience of the established machine builder provide the ideal complement to the roll-out of metallic 3D printing.