Angel Llavero, the CEO of Meltio, discusses a market opportunity worth $3 trillion in an interview.


INTERVIEW: Meltio CEO, Angel Llavero on a $3 trillion market opportunity

When the CEO at one of the largest metal businesses in the world calls, what would your first thoughts be? “I thought they wanted to buy more material,” Meltio CEO Angel Llavero says. The meeting turned out to be about something on a much grander scale.

In 2019, Llavero received a call from ArcelorMittal, the multinational steel manufacturer founded by Lakshmi Mittal, also known as the King of Steel. ArcelorMittal had generated $80 billion in 2022 and wanted to discuss new technologies for metal additive manufacturing. Llavero initially dismissed desktop 3D printing, but after customer requests kept coming in, he decided to invest in building a machine.

ArcelorMittal, already a customer of Llavero’s team, was interested in a new technology that could be deployed on a large scale for the automotive industry. After a global technology search, they found ADDiTEC in Las Vegas, which had an “alpha prototype” system that ArcelorMittal deemed “wonderful.” Llavero took the next flight to Vegas and secured an agreement with ADDiTEC to develop the technology, leading to the creation of Meltio.

Meltio’s unique technology, called Directed Energy Deposition (DED), uses laser energy to melt metal wire and deposit successive layers at speed. Llavero emphasized that Meltio’s technology is flexible and can be integrated with robots or CNCs. Their goal is industrialization, aiming to have Meltio machines running 24/7 in factories to increase volume and improve processes.

Despite the challenges posed by the pandemic in 2020, Meltio managed to sell around 30 to 40 machines and set up over 130 teams worldwide, all through video calls. Llavero highlighted the importance of countries developing manufacturing capabilities and the flexibility offered by Meltio’s technology to reduce dependency on supply chains.

Meltio is currently in negotiations with prominent companies across diverse sectors, aiming to find the best applications for their technology. By 2024, the first factory using Meltio’s technology on a massive scale will be operational, with Llavero emphasizing the significance of their partnerships.

Looking ahead, Llavero envisions a shift in the additive manufacturing landscape, with Meltio playing a crucial role as an essential partner for many industries. Their technology can reduce material costs and time, offering customers value and a chance to recover their investment. With their focus on industrialization and volume, Meltio is poised to be a leader in the metal additive manufacturing industry.

The manufacturing industry is at a critical juncture, facing the decision of whether to remain a complementary technology or transform into a primary industrial tool. This transformation is not only necessary but also inevitable, according to the insights of Meltio’s CEO, Llavero. He believes that the industry is on the brink of a significant change, with additive manufacturing playing a pivotal role.

Llavero predicts that metal additive manufacturing will shift from powder to wire, citing the latter’s advantages. He emphasizes the importance of scalability and building a robust ecosystem comprising universities, technology centers, and resellers in each country. To illustrate this, he shares the example of Cartier in Italy, who expressed interest in purchasing Meltio’s machines. However, Meltio waited until they were fully established in Italy before making the sale, highlighting the significance of a strong ecosystem.

Llavero also stresses the potential of additive manufacturing in revolutionizing industrial production. He believes that manufacturers need to showcase the applicability of the technology in various sectors, emphasizing its use for mass production rather than just toys. Despite the potential, cost remains a significant barrier to widespread adoption.

Delving into the transformative potential of Meltio’s technology, Llavero provides insights into the broader implications of their innovations, particularly in sustainable manufacturing. He highlights the automotive sector as a primary beneficiary, citing ongoing projects to reduce the cycle time for injection plastic molds, promising significant cost and time savings.

Innovation in material use is another critical area of focus for Meltio. The company’s technology optimizes rapid deposition, aiming to achieve a production rate of “one kilo per hour.” Llavero confidently asserts that Meltio’s deposition capabilities are unmatched by any other technology in the world. By comparing traditional manufacturing processes to Meltio’s approach, he highlights the potential for massive cost savings.

Furthermore, Llavero reveals that Meltio is now targeting the medical sector. He states that the cost of standard knee prosthetics can range from $2,000 to $5,000, while Meltio’s method can bring the manufacturing cost down to as low as 50 Euros. This affordability has the potential to democratize manufacturing in the prosthetics industry.

One of the key advantages of Meltio’s technology is its flexibility in manufacturing. Llavero explains that their machines can be easily moved from one factory to another, allowing for adaptive production based on demand. This flexibility not only ensures optimal utilization but also reduces the need for multiple machines.

In terms of market potential, Llavero identifies traditional manufacturing technologies like casting, forging, and machining as Meltio’s primary competitors. The global volume of metal parts involved in these processes is worth a staggering $3 trillion. However, he believes that Meltio’s technology can make significant inroads into this market, given its advantages over traditional methods.

Sustainability is another standout feature of Meltio’s technology. Llavero proudly claims that Meltio uses 100% of the material, reducing waste and energy consumption. This eco-friendly approach can have broader implications, such as creating more efficient batteries in devices like autonomous vehicles by reducing the weight of electronics.

Currently, Meltio is focusing on machine shops and has garnered interest from significant OEMs in sectors like automotive and electronics. Llavero hints at potential large-scale projects, stating that if their ongoing automotive application succeeds in the next month, they could have thousands of machines in the sector.

In conclusion, Meltio envisions a future of next-generation manufacturing, where additive manufacturing becomes the primary industrial tool. With its transformative potential, sustainability, and cost savings, Meltio’s technology aims to disrupt traditional manufacturing processes and create a more efficient and eco-friendly manufacturing landscape.

Meltio, a leading 3D printing company, has been making waves in the industry with its innovative product offerings and rapid growth. In a recent interview, CEO Llavero highlighted the company’s expansion over the past year, stating that they have now grown to a team of 50 people. This increase in manpower signifies Meltio’s commitment to pushing the boundaries of technology and improving their product offerings.

Llavero emphasized the need to offer solutions that are easily accessible to the market. With this in mind, Meltio is currently working on the next step of the technology, aiming to bring forth groundbreaking products that will cater to a variety of markets. Llavero hinted at the launch of three new solutions by 2024, promising that they will surprise the industry with their innovation.

The future seems bright for Meltio, as they are poised for significant growth and innovation in the coming years. With their aim to redefine the manufacturing landscape, it is clear that Meltio is committed to constantly pushing the boundaries of what is possible in the additive manufacturing industry.

To stay up to date with the latest 3D printing news and developments in the industry, be sure to subscribe to the 3D Printing Industry newsletter. You can also follow their Twitter account, like their Facebook page, and subscribe to their Youtube channel to access exclusive content.

If you are interested in a career in the additive manufacturing industry, be sure to visit 3D Printing Jobs. They offer a selection of available roles that can kickstart your career and provide you with exciting opportunities in this rapidly growing field.

In conclusion, Meltio is a company that is set to make waves in the 3D printing industry. With their focus on growth and innovation, they are poised to redefine the manufacturing landscape and continue pushing the boundaries of what is possible with additive manufacturing technology.

Original source


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