Ceramic

Enumerating the role of 3D printing in automotive market: How the technology is changing the face of automobile manufacturing & prototyping

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Additive manufacturing technologies over the past years have made a strong case in product innovation and 3D printing in automotive market, in particular, has significantly transformed the potential ways in which products are designed, manufactured, and distributed. The additive manufacturing techniques have also opened doors for lighter, cleaner, and more safe products with comparatively lower cost and shorter lead time. Quite overtly, these physiognomies have paved a lucrative way for the commercialization matrix of automotive 3D printing market, which has already chronicled its name in the coveted billion-dollar fraternity in 2017. According to a report by Global Market Insights, Inc., the global 3D printing in automotive market was estimated at over USD 1.4 billion in 2017, while registering annual sales of 3D printers over 110 thousand units.

U.S. 3D Printing in Automotive Market Revenue, By Component
U.S. 3D Printing in Automotive Market Revenue, By Component

Given the proliferating 3D printers sale in the automotive sector, it has been identified that accelerating production is the highest priority the auto companies are relying on 3D printing for, climbing from 29% in 2017 to 39% in 2018. Auto manufacturers are increasingly relying on 3D printing to streamline and expand their possibilities of mass customization, build-to-order product strategies, and in increasing the production flexibility and sales.

The role of 3D printing in driving competitiveness

According to a report by Forbes, over 93% of companies in 2018 are using 3D printing and are gaining competitive advantages such as reduced time-to-market and flexible shorter production runs for potential customers. The technological advancements in 3D metal materials have further led this business sphere to depict a profound growth. Estimates claim that over 36% of the companies are using metal material for 3D printing in 2018, a considerably upswing from 28% in 2017. The data signifies the greater adoption of 3D printers for production operations, which in turn is propelling automotive 3D printing market growth.

While there is no doubt that additive manufacturing has taken the automotive industry by storm, it would to interesting to take note of some industry magnates who are leveraging the technical trajectory of AM in driving their revenue growth. Enumerated below are few recent instances that shed light on the increasing adoption of 3D printing in automotive industry.

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Volkswagen is using 3D printing for mass production

Automotive industry behemoth Volkswagen has recently announced that it will be using the latest 3D printing technology for manufacturing different auto parts. The company will be using the technology with the HP Metal Jet process that is expected to simplify and speed up the metallic 3D printing. According to reports, a Volkswagen vehicle is manufactured from around 6000 to 8000 different parts and 3D printing has helped immensely in mass production of these parts.

Volkswagen with HP and GKN, is further planning to take the technology to next level that could be able to produce individualized design parts including gear knobs, tailgate lettering, and special keys with personalized lettering without a great deal of effort. Significantly reducing the time required for manufacturing parts and assisting in production of mass quantities, the automotive 3D printing market demand is expected to thrive several notches up in the ensuing years.

Nanosteel unveils Formetrix, aids commercialization of metal 3D printing

An advanced materials company, Nanosteel has recently unveiled that it has launched an enterprise focusing chiefly on materials for additive manufacturing. The new corporation, dubbed as the Formetrix, is expected to further the commercialization of 3D printing metals and as well offer on-demand production services. It has been reported that Nanosteel will be supporting two areas – steel powders and sheet steel for automotive lightweighting for 3D printing. This has grabbed the attention of several automotive 3D printing industry players for investment & development of their metal auto parts. Besides the automotive 3D printing industry, the company will be playing a key role in additive manufacturing components of the oil & gas, construction, and heavy machinery markets.

Audi accelerates automotive design with Stratasys 3D printing

This German auto maker has recently announced that it has adopted the Stratasys’ J750 full-color and multi-material 3D printer for accelerating the design verification process and reducing the time required for prototyping. Leveraging the additive manufacturing technology, Audi claims that it has accomplished prototyping lead time cuts by as much as 50% for some parts. According to reliable reports, prototyping & tooling application accounted for 60% of automotive 3D printing industry share in 2017, and Audi’s adoption of Stratasys 3D printing bears testimony to the rapid expansion of this segment.

With increasing number of big-name manufacturers embracing 3D printing in automotive industry, it wouldn’t be wrong to say that this technology has come a long way and has the power to influence the direction in which auto design sector will head in future. Considering the sheer size of the global automotive industry, 3D printing is all set to be a game-changer in shaping automotive design and manufacturing trends. Soon to become an integral part, 3D printing in automotive market is poised to further unlock tremendous innovation potential and gather a remuneration portfolio exceeding USD 8 billion by 2024.

Author NameOjaswita Kutepatil

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Fluorspar market to regain its position with an estimated valuation of USD 4 billion by 2024, significant investments in fluorspar mine capacity expansion to stimulate the competitive landscape

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Global fluorspar market has been one of the most debatable business spaces of recent times with regards to its extensive utilization in hydrofluoric acid and fluorocarbons production. This is perhaps due to the fact that fluorspar mining has been open to question many a time by international regulatory bodies on grounds of its environmental concerns during blasting process. Nonetheless, subject to the materials’ extensive application across a plethora of lucrative domains, such as aluminum and steel production, fluorspar industry has gained an appreciable popularity over the years. Bearing a testimony to the declaration is the past year valuation of the business space which depicts global fluorspar industry share to have garnered a revenue of USD 2 billion in 2016. Fluorspar mining, for the records, began in the year `1920, and since then the mineral has been recognized as one of the most versatile materials that can widely deployed for a variety of ceramic, metallurgical, and chemical process.

U.S. Fluorspar Market Size, by Application, 2013 – 2024 (USD Million)
U.S. Fluorspar Market Size, by Application, 2013 – 2024 (USD Million)

In this regard, it is imperative to mention that fluorspar industry has been witnessing a flux since a while now. Falling price trends of fluorochemicals along with soft demand for fluorspar are threatening new entrants in the competitive landscape, while some of the low-cost suppliers are striving hard to beat the market odds. Amidst this dynamically charged share battle, fluorspar mining activities across the globe had been a little backfooted for quite a prolonged period. However, technological advancements in the manufacturing processes in tandem with changing faces of end-use sectors has somewhat upscaled the mineral demand. This is evident from the significant attempts taken by the fluorspar market giants to expand the capacity of existing fluorspar mines.

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Unveiling two of the recent projects in global fluorspar marketplace:

  • Afghanistan’s sole fluorspar deposit, the Bakhud deposit, has made it to the headlines with the announcement of its decision of tripling the capacity within next six months, in bid to improve the volatile fluorspar market condition. For the records, the mining giant is set to expand the fluorspar capacity by 122,500 tonnes per year once fully operational. Established in the year 2010, the company currently has a production capacity of 60,000 tpy with a production volume of 3,000 to 5,000 tonnes per month. In effect of this project, the Bakhud deposit would be producing 500 tonnes/ day, with a total capacity of almost 182,500 tpy.
  • South Africa is also gearing up and as per experts’ opinion, would prove to be a strong contender in the global business space over the ensuing years. South Africa is claimed to have world’s largest fluorspar reserves, and Europe holds a major chunk of the regional export market with regards to production of aluminum fluoride and hydrogen fluoride beneficiation. Reportedly, the country is presently creating a whole hog on the new fluorspar mine by Nokeng Fluorspar Mine Ltd, the fully owned subsidiary of Sep Located at the north east of Pretoria, this R 1.7 billion mine project by the fluorspar market giant is reported to be the largest of its kind when compared to other investments around the world. Following the past success of Nokeng Fluorspar Mine’s breakthrough project at Gauteng province, the company now aims to vertically integrate in the supply value chain of fluorspar industry.

Detrimental environmental impact of chlorofluorocarbons, which is one of the most frequently used cooling fluids in air conditioners and refrigerators, is deemed to be a major hindrance to fluorspar market expansion. CFCs pose a great threat to atmospheric ozone layer by speeding up the breakdown process, which ultimately allow maximum of the UV rays to hit the earth’s surface.  Prolonged exposure to ultraviolet rays is very harmful for human health and sometimes even claimed to be the root cause for cancer and mutation.  This has led to banning of CFC across major nations, leaving a parallel impact on the regional fluorspar market size. Nonetheless, fluorspar is a valuable commodity and its contribution in the production of aluminum and steel is unrivaled. Since steel and aluminum are closely linked to a variety of remunerative business verticals, automotive sector in particular, expansive growth in these domains would overtly enable fluorspar market to revamp its position in the global landscape. In terms of commercialization, fluorspar industry is slated to exceed a valuation of USD 4 billion by 2024.

Author Name : Satarupa De

APAC Laser Materials Market to contribute significantly toward the global share, communication sector to drive the application landscape

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Considering the increasing proliferation of laser technologies in medical space, Laser Materials Market demand is undoubtedly set to grow substantially in the forthcoming years. Technological interventions have not only influenced laser materials portfolio but also have widened the application scope of the market. An exemplary transformation in the therapeutic model in terms of medical facilities has acted in favor of the business growth. For instance, shifting trend toward replacing non-laser technologies across various domains that include oncology, neurology, and dentistry has been immensely catapulting the market expansion over the years. Speaking of healthcare, laser technology has already gained a momentum in this space and with technological advancements, it is anticipated to unfold a series of new opportunities, leaving a subsequent impact on laser materials market.

Europe Laser Materials Market Size, By Application, 2013 – 2024 (USD Mn)
Europe Laser Materials Market Size, By Application, 2013 - 2024 (USD Mn)

Estimates depict, the industry will exceed a valuation of USD 1.7 billion by the end of 2024, with a projected CAGR of 5.5% over 2017-2024. Plastic technology is the latest thriving trend in laser materials market that is opening new avenues for the investors. With the continuous evolution of polymers and composite materials configuration, the technology is likely to penetrate deeper into the business. On that note, it is important to consider the unprecedented efforts the instrument manufacturers are taking in reducing the complexity of these devices, which again will prove to be favorable for laser materials industry outlook.

With digital disruptions globally, the volume of data has been exponentially increasing across various industries. Communication sector is one of the profound spaces witnessing the proliferating penetration of laser materials. Communication applications procured one-third of laser materials industry share in 2016. Military applications have been also gaining a traction lately. High demand for lightweight cost-effective armaments has resulted in the utilization of laser materials in this domain. Key market players are also investing in research activities to extend the product portfolio to win a competitive edge in the global landscape.

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Geographically, Asia Pacific is one of the significant regions partaking in the laser materials market. The expanded manufacturing base along with upgraded healthcare infrastructure are the prime factors driving the regional market.  China, Taiwan, India, And South Korea are the major countries contributing substantially toward the regional share. Increasing population in APAC is also a vital factor enhancing laser material market dynamics. With a significant contribution toward the overall revenue in 2016, APAC will continue to be a strong participant in the global laser materials market in the years ahead.

North America laser materials market is also anticipated to chalk a lucrative growth path, subject to the region’s progressive military terrain particularly in the U.S.  The country receives a huge amount of funding every year for laser weapons. With U.S. as a forerunner, North America laser materials industry in the coming seven years is slated to carve a profitable road map.

Laser technology undoubtedly is one of the most commendable innovations of the twentieth century. With a broader spectrum of application across the healthcare, military, and communication, laser materials market penetration has generated a remarkable momentum. Reduced material prices coupled with their reliability and enhanced lifespan are further pushing the laser materials market demand. Prominent industry participants include Asahi Glass Co., Ltd, Morgan Advanced Materials, BASF SE, Dow Chemical Company, GrafTech International, Taishan Fiberglass inc., CeramTec GmbH, Sinopec Shanghai Petrochemical Co., Ltd, Murata Manufacturing Co., Ltd., Anglo American plc., Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings Corp., Norilsk Nickel, Evonik Industries, Universal Laser Systems, Inc., and Corning Inc.

Author Name : Satarupa De

U.S. craniomaxillofacial devices market to accrue substantial proceeds by 2024, innovations in healthcare technology to alter the industry dynamics

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Global craniomaxillofacial devices market has witnessed steady consumption over the preceding years due to rising occurrence of injuries worldwide and the prevalence of congenital facial deformities among newborn children. Increased consumer spending on healthcare services and the subsequent development of medical device manufacturers has boosted the availability of suitable products. Advancements in surgery and implantation procedures as well as minimal risks to health that they offer have driven the craniomaxillofacial (CMF) devices industry growth. The augment of less invasive CMF devices that are efficient and do not cause undesirable bone damage has helped evolve the craniomaxillofacial devices market tremendously.

U.S. craniomaxillofacial devices market, by location , 2017 & 2024 (USD Million)
U.S. craniomaxillofacial devices market, by location , 2017 & 2024 (USD Million)

Consisting of the most advanced healthcare services and related technologies, the Europe and North America regions have experienced remarkable consumption of CMF devices in recent times. Eventually, the rising geriatric population in Asia-Pacific will contribute increasingly towards the propagation of the craniomaxillofacial devices industry, as older people are more vulnerable to serious injuries. Presently, the U.S. represents a prominent target market for CMF devices, with easy access to modern health facilities and equipment, as well as occurrence of large number of accidents or sports injuries every year. Reportedly, it is estimated that the U.S. craniomaxillofacial devices market will register a steady 5.8% CAGR from 2018 to 2024.

Regional overview of the North America craniomaxillofacial devices market with regards to growth prospects in U.S. 

Generally, sports injuries in the U.S. are quite a common occurrence owing to the vast number of sporting events taking place in the country on a regular basis, ranging from football, baseball and hockey to gymnastics. Statistics show that over 5 million teeth every year are avulsed in U.S., with a considerable amount of them attributed to sports activities. The Journal of the American Dental Association had reported that of all the sports-associated dental injuries, 2% to 18% are related to the maxillofacial, which could lead to major expenditures to repair the damage. Since diverse age groups are involved in physical sports activities all over the country, the craniomaxillofacial devices industry is expected to garner increasing revenues from sports-related injuries.

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Speaking further on the opportunities for CMF device manufacturers in the U.S., the country is one of the biggest automobile markets in the world and sees an alarming number of fatal and non-fatal vehicle accidents annually. Besides the injuries suffered by drivers and passengers involved in the crash, pedestrians are often injured by vehicles, becoming a victim of careless or drunk driving, among other reasons. The CDC had informed that in 2015, almost 129,000 pedestrians had been treated in hospitals for non-fatal accident-related injuries, and one can surmise the number of people who may have required CMF procedures. The gravity of the situation can be understood from the fact that in New York state alone, about 309,000 car accidents took place in 2017, demonstrating potential for the U.S. craniomaxillofacial devices market.

Enumerating advancements in healthcare technology that will drive the craniomaxillofacial devices industry expansion

Bioabsorbable materials have been used in medical procedures for some time now, as they lower the risk of infection, eliminate the need for removal procedures and gradually transfer load to healing parts of the body. The craniomaxillofacial devices market has become a promising application area for innovative bioabsorbable materials for countering problems associated with complications of permanent metal and polymer implants. Companies are designing alloys for CMF devices using elements found naturally in the body, for instance nanoMAG’s BioMg® which uses magnesium alloy consisting of zinc and calcium to ensure the implant dissolves through natural degradation.

Increasing demand for CMF devices made from bioabsorbable materials will notably bolster the global craniomaxillofacial devices market, as consumers begin to realize their benefits while continuous development in technology will make them affordable. To elaborate further, 3D-prinitng, or additive manufacturing, is an innovation gaining momentum within the healthcare segment, being extensively used for producing medical devices. 3D-printing can be utilized to print bioabsorbable implants designed to assist in healing bones, giving way to a faster method of production and at lower costs, facilitating access to a wider consumer base.

All in all, with the consistent demand for CMF procedures instigating from car accidents, sports injuries and several other factors, the craniomaxillofacial devices market is anticipated to cross USD 1.9 billion in remunerations by 2024. Technological developments will significantly transform the dynamics of the craniomaxillofacial devices industry, which comprises of key players such as KLS Martin LP, Medtronic, Stryker Corporation and Zimmer-Biomet.

Author NamePankaj Singh