By guest author Bridget O’Neal from Retail Gazette
In another dynamic acquisition regarding the global progress of 3D printing and additive manufacturing technology, Henkel has just announced the purchase of Molecule Corp., headquartered in Concord, CA, near the San Francisco Bay area. This addition to the Henkel portfolio should propel them further into the technology realm as they continue to find success in their plan for making ‘targeted acquisitions,’ along with fortifying their additive manufacturing processes for production of strong, functional parts made from a variety of materials.
The technology and expertise built thus far by the Molecule Corp. team will also complement Henkel’s current strategies for research and development of new materials and techniques such as inkjet printing. Although they have locations around the globe, Henkel is headquartered in Düsseldorf, Germany. They currently employ over 50000 people today, but are still run as a family business that was founded on ‘strong entrepreneurial spirit’ in 1876. Creating value for their customers is priority, but their focus remains on offering sustainability to future generations as they continue to manage and create new materials from renewable raw resources—and this is where 3D printing enters the picture.
“Molecule Corp. and Henkel are an excellent fit,” says Philipp Loosen, head of 3D Printing at Henkel. “Molecule’s strong 3D printing and inkjet resin technologies and digital development capabilities perfectly complement and strengthen our materials portfolio and build on our approach to offer a comprehensive range of customized additive manufacturing solutions.”
Molecule Corp. currently offers a wide array of 3D printing solutions related to applications like:
- Medical devices
- Consumer goods
- Industrial materials
“Molecule’s technology and engineering centre in California (USA) also broadens our global 3D printing footprint. We now provide 3D printing support to our customers in all major regions around the world,” adds Michael Todd, head of Innovation at Henkel Adhesives Technologies.
If you are attending the upcoming Rapid + TCT show (held in Detroit, Michigan from May 20-23), check out the Henkel booth where the Molecule Corp. team will also be present from May 21-23 — along with over 375 other exhibitors, many of whom are also involved in 3D printing and related technologies.
“We are excited to join Henkel,” says Ken Kisner, founder and president of Molecule Corp. “Henkel’s customer centred approach along with our combined product portfolio will help key industries accelerate the speed of innovation and move 3D printing from prototyping to digital manufacturing.”
Although 3D printing was created decades ago to offer engineers a faster and more streamlined method of prototyping, once the technology hit the mainstream users became intent on making objects and customized parts to suit an infinite number of industrial and creative projects worldwide. The possibilities are there for changing the marketplace forever with the ability to produce one-of-a-kind, highly tailored products for discerning consumers, but we are also curious to see what role 3D printing will play in mass manufacturing as companies like 3D Systems and Stratasys bring forth the tools.