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Simba Chain Earns Supply-Chain Gold Medal in U.S. Air Force Advanced Manufacturing Olympics

Friday, October 30, 2020

Simba Chain, employing a strategy of blockchain-enabled additive manufacturing (AM) labs for battlefield use, captured gold in the U.S. Air Force’s inaugural Advanced Manufacturing Olympics, held virtually October 20-23. The blockchain startup won the Supply Chain Marathon division, scoring top honors in a field of 16 finalists.

The Advanced Manufacturing Olympics was created to bring together technology companies, startups, traditional and nontraditional U.S. Department of Defense contractors, academia, and students to help solve some of the Air Force’s most significant sustainment issues. Simba Chain entered the competition with a multidisciplinary team that included Itamco, the University of Notre Dame and C5BDI, and was rewarded for its award-winning performance with a check for $100,000.

All of the Supply Chain Marathon competitors were given the same scenario: A fictional island called Elfmore was under siege. How could AM be deployed to keep aircraft, weaponry, field hospitals and infrastructure operational? SIMBA Chain’s winning response combined portable, self-contained units, referred to as Rapid Additive Manufacturing Labs and capable of printing metal, plastic and composite parts on demand, with the interconnectivity and cybersecurity of blockchain. The labs were tasked to deliver unprecedented AM capabilities to forward-deployed military units, front-line medical staff and relief organizations.

“We literally had six days to put together an entire war games solution to deliver critical parts to a battlefront, keep field hospitals operational and infrastructure like runways intact,” explains Joel Neidig, Simba Chain CEO. “What was different about our approach was how we met both the physical challenges of warfighters as well as the cyber threats that are playing a growing role in modern warfare.

“The key component of any supply chain is security―particularly critical to fast-changing military operations,” Neidig continues. “Including blockchain in our strategy set Simba Chain apart as our AM labs were digitally and securely interconnected with one another and with military command. This ensured the integrity of communications and that whatever was needed could be built to military specifications without compromise from external forces. This strategy resonated with the judges.”

The ultimate goal of the Air Force’s Advanced Manufacturing Olympics: Identify innovative ideas that have the potential to be translated into commercial solutions. Simba Chain reportedly is working already with several arms of the U.S. Department of Defense, including the U.S. Air Force and the U.S. Navy. Neidig has hopes that blockchain, and specifically Simba Chain, will soon become an integral part of the U.S. military’s strategic weaponry.

Terem Named Markforged President and CEO, Mark Transitions to Chair

Thursday, October 29, 2020

Markforged has announced the promotion of Shai Terem to president and CEO, with company founder Gregory Mark transitioning to the role of chair. These moves are the results of a planned succession, according to company officials, who note that they are designed to position Markforged for its next phase of growth as the company continues to scale.

As CEO, Terem will lead the development and execution of short- and long-term strategies and day-to-day operations. Since joining Markforged in December 2019 as president and COO, Terem has reorganized the go-to-market organization to have a channel-first approach while building a growth infrastructure. Previously, he served as president of the Americas region at Kornit Digital, involved in 2D digital printing for textiles, and held various product marketing, finance and operations roles with Stratasys.

“I have been fortunate to spend the majority of my career in this industry,” Terem says. “It is an honor to take the helm of such a pioneering company, and I’m eager to play my part in our mission to reinvent manufacturing.”

Says, Mark, who has led the company for the past seven years as CEO: “We have parts flying in space, and on commercial and military jets; we have hundreds of thousands of parts used by frontline workers to fight COVID. All are printed on a platform that is robust enough for end-use aerospace, and affordable to high schools and colleges. We have democratized metal and carbon-fiber 3D printing, and we’re just getting started. 

“We believe Shai will continue this progression and grow into more factories, schools and design shops around the world,” Mark continues. “With his operator chops and considerable additive manufacturing (AM) experience, Shai has the right combination of skills to continue our rapid growth.”

In his new role as chairman, Mark will focus on promoting the adoption of the company’s AM platform among engineers, designers and manufacturing professionals worldwide.

“We believe the pandemic has shown just how essential AM will be in a world where supply chains need to more nimble, adaptable and resilient,” says Michael Medici, a managing director at Summit Partners and member of Markforged’s board of directors. “Greg has built a strong foundation for innovation that he will continue to develop as Shai works to scale the organization from successful startup to a pillar technology company of our time.” See also:

Kanfit3D Now Providing 3D Printing of Aluminum Parts for Aerospace, Medical and Other Uses

Thursday, October 29, 2020

Kanfit Ltd. has announced that it is now offering additive manufacturing (AM) of aluminum parts through its sister company, Kanfit3D, via a recently installed SLM 280 AM system from SLM Solutions. The machine enables production of medium- to high-volume aluminum parts and prototypes using selective laser melting. The new system joins Kanfit3D's EOS M290 machine, which uses direct metal laser sintering to print from Ti64G5.

"Our new SLM system has a state-of-the-art high-power laser system that reduces cost per part, while advanced sensors and additional systems ensure best-in-class processing conditions to deliver highly consistent, top-performance AM parts," offers Zachy Shtamler, Kanfit3D COO. "Our advanced capabilities will allow us to shorten delivery times for products from 1 mo., for example, to 5 days." 

Together both Kanfit3D and Kanfit Ltd., based in Israel, hope to expand into new aerospace and medical sectors, including home defense, and custom-made medical fixtures and devices. 

"We are very excited about the new opportunities that this new system opens up for us," says Shachar Fine, Kanfit executive vice president of business development, marketing and sales.

The SLM 280 system was installed remotely in a joint effort between Kanfit3D's technical team and SLM Solutions-Germany via telephone video conferencing due to travel restrictions imposed by COVID-19. 
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Solar Atmospheres of California, Kittyhawk Form Partnership for Heat Treating, HIP

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Solar Atmospheres of California and Kittyhawk Products Inc. have announced a strategic partnership for heat treating and hot isostatic pressing ((HIP) services. Kittyhawk, with locations in California, Nevada and Oregon, has been providing HIP services for companies in various industries since 1981, while Solar Atmospheres provides vacuum heat treating services.

The partnership results from both companies―each being Nadcap-, ISO9001- and AS9100-certified, and each maintaining source approvals for major aerospace primes―recognizing customer needs for value-added propositions. As many parts require heat treating and HIP, the relationship allows customers to work with two companies in a streamlined, efficient manner, according to officials from Solar Atmospheres of California and Kittyhawk.

“This partnership allows the customer to take advantage of hot isostatic pressing and heat treat without having to look further,” states Brandon Creason, president of Kittyhawk. See also: ,

New Members for Additive Manufacturer Green Trade Association

Thursday, October 22, 2020

The Additive Manufacturer Green Trade Association (AMGTA), formed in 2019 to advance sustainability in additive manufacturing (AM), has announced 12 new members from eight countries.

Joining Sintavia LLC as co-founder are Taiyo Nippon Sanso Corp., a supplier of stable industrial gases to a variety of industries; and QC Laboratories, Inc., an industrial and commercial nondestructive testing laboratory focused on AM components. These co-founders will determine the strategic direction of the AMGTA, provide governance oversight and consider future research projects that members may vote to commission.

Joining as Participating Member companies: Amexci AB, an accelerator for the adoption of AM in Nordic industries; Danish AM Hub, Denmark’s focal point for the AM ecosystem; EOS, supplier of technologies and materials for industrial 3D printing; GE Additive, AM technology and manufacturing provider; Materialise, offering a range of 3D-printing software and services; the National Manufacturing Institute Scotland, a group of industry-led manufacturing R&D facilities in Scotland; Siemens Digital Industries Software, provider of the Xcelerator digital-enterprise portfolio; SLM Solutions Inc., producer of industrial metal 3D-printing machines; and Stryker, provider of medical technology.

“I’m delighted to welcome each of these esteemed founding members and Participating Member companies to the AMGTA,” says Sherry Handel, AMGTA executive director. “Their commitment not only to support the mission of our new trade group, but also their passion for sustainability, well positions the AMGTA to serve as a key industry resource in advancing sustainability in the AM industry. I am looking forward to working with each of our member companies as we embark on this exciting and important journey together.”

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