Swedish news agency Direkt writes today that around a dozen of companies is about to order equipment for 3D-printing during 2014 and that Swedish Arcam is in a good position in those negotiations. Direkt is referring to US investment bank Jeffries and its latest research paper.
Arcam’s CEO Magnus Rene is quoted saying that “that’s what we are trying to achieve. It is absolutely possible that we will receive a volume order already this year, but it is nothing I can promise.” Asked about the current production capacity, Mr Rene says: “We have the capacity to manufacture 40-50 machines today. We are in close discussions with our customers and well prepared for whatever can happen.”
The average price for one of Arcam’s machines was around SEK 5,4m during 2013. At full capacity utilisation with the current capacity this would imply annual revenues from equipment sales of SEK 270m, plus revenues from service activities on top.
Arcam outsources a lot of the actual manufacturing of its machines and is focusing on the final assembly. This allows the company to quickly adapt its capacity. Says CEO Rene: “What we mainly need is staff to assemble, install and conduct the service. One year ago we were around 50 people, now it’s 75.”
Jeffries’ analysts highlight GE as one of the major companies that are about to invest into 3D-printing on a big scale. Arcam is seen as a good bet for orders in connection with the production of parts for the new airplane engine Leap. Says CEO Rene: “We are in discussions with all major airplane engine manufacturers and GE-owned Avio is one of our biggest clients.” He continues to promise that during 2014, it will be possible to fly in civil airplanes that are equipped with details produced by Arcam.
Mr Rene does not expect any pressure on prices despite the growing market which could attract competition. “Our prices have been unchanged or even slightly increasing for many years. We think this will continue. The machines become more and more complex which leads to higher prices.” Asked about emerging competition from China, Mr Rene says: “I believe we will have to live with the competition we currently have. Non of them are Chinese. ”