Würth Additive Group last week said that it has signed a global agreement with Markforged Inc., whose Digital Forge product is an integrated metal and carbon-fiber industrial 3D printing platform. The companies said they will incorporate Digital Forge into Würth's additive manufacturing offerings on a global scale.
“We are excited to see Würth Additive Group's deep experience and extensive global coverage and the Digital Forge's capabilities come together to overcome global supply chain limitations with customers on a global scale,” stated Shai Terem, president and CEO at Markforged. “Our technology enables some of the world's biggest manufacturers to create digital supply chains that transcend the limitations of conventional manufacturing by fabricating robust production parts right on their factory floors. Together with Würth, we are aiming to reinvent manufacturing on a global scale.”
Partners enable virtual inventory and production
The agreement brings the Digital Forge's combined precise and reliable 3D printing hardware and cloud-based learning software, along with its wide portfolio of materials such as metals, composites, and continuous fiber, to Würth Additive Group and Würth Industry North America (WINA) customers.
The partnership expands on a previous agreement between WINA and Markforged signed in March 2020. The expanded agreement is intended to help expand Digital Forge's installed base beyond North America.
Markforged's cloud-native platform can now automatically connect to Würth Additive Group's systems to produce inventory right on the factory floor by simply scanning a bar code, which triggers the Digital Forge to start printing. Markforged's Blacksmith artificial intelligence can automate inspection by building in closed-loop quality control to validate and verify parts.
The companies claimed that their technologies are used in industries such as aerospace, industrial automation, defense, automotive, and healthcare to deliver mission-critical parts on demand and at the point of need.
“As the global market leader in the sale of assembly and fastening materials, active in over 80 countries, we joined forces with Markforged to reinvent manufacturing with the Digital Forge,” said Dan Hill, CEO of Würth Industry North America. “[We] look forward to bringing this technology to customers looking to enable, implement, and support digital supply chain solutions around the world.”
“Our strategic supplier portfolio is a key part of our additive solutions strategy, and Markforged has added proven value in North America, and we are excited to take that globally,” he added.
About Würth Additive Group and Markforged
Würth Additive Group is part of Würth Group, which claims to be the world's largest fastener distributor. Würth Industry North America is a $1 billion division of Würth Group founded in 1945. Its strategically aligned divisions serve industries including metalworking and construction, and it provides additive services, engineering assistance, and other services and supplies. WINA has 420,000 parts in its international supply chain.
In late 2017, WINA began providing rapid prototyping and printing production tools. It now offers full digital Kanban solutions by integrating 3D printing technology in its existing vendor-managed inventory programs. The group aims to streamline customers' supply chain and increase adaptability through additive manufacturing and digital inventory.
Würth Additive Group launched in April 2021 to provide expanded industrial 3D printing products and services, including financing and rental options.
Markforged said its 3D metal and continuous carbon-fiber printers are capable of producing parts tough enough for the factory floor. “Digital Forge brings the power and speed of agile software development to industrial manufacturing, combining hardware, software, and materials to eliminate the barriers between design and functional parts,” said the Watertown, Mass.-based company.
Founded in 2013, Markforged has more than 250 employees globally. In February 2021, Markforged announced that it entered into a definitive agreement to merge with “one,” a special-purpose acquisition company (SPAC) founded and led by technology industry veteran Kevin Hartz.
The $361 million transaction is expected to close in the summer of 2021, subject to regulatory and stockholder approvals, and other customary closing conditions. The combined company will be named “Markforged Holding Co.” and be listed on the New York Stock Exhcange (NYSE) under the ticker symbol “MKFG.”
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