Techmer PM includes new line to deal with 3D printing development

Materials creator Techmer PM has included a noteworthy production line in Clinton, Tenn., to deal with a developing market for large-scale 3D printing.

In a May 8 news release, authorities with Clinton-based Techmer said the multi-million-dollar line is the most recent investment in a public/private partnership that has included close collaboration with Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL).

Techmer formally propelled the new high-capacity, twin-screw line with a May 7 function at ORNL in Oak Ridge, Tenn. The declaration was made at the Advanced Manufacturing Summit, an occasion intended to exhibit the Department of Energy’s national labs. Energy Secretary Rick Perry and Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee went to the occasion at visitor speakers.

Techmer held a different ribbon-cutting function at its Clinton headquarters that day for employees and local dignitaries.

“We’re proud that this federal/private industry model is bringing a competitive edge to our industry and nation,” said John Manuck, Techmer PM founder, chairman, and CEO. “Global competition is all about developing and applying new technologies in every industry sector.”

Manuck included that Techmer “is pleased to be working closely with ORNL and the Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation (IACMI), both of which are playing critical roles in helping to complete this mission.”

“IACMI is excited to support Techmer PM’s leadership in additive manufacturing materials through collaborative technical projects within our community of industry members, universities, and national laboratories,” IACMI CEO John Hopkins said in the release.

Techmer started working with ORNL in 2013 with collaboration on a carbon fiber project. That work immediately formed into joint research and development on the emerging technology of large-part 3D printing, also known as additive manufacturing.

Extra work has included academia, machinery producers Cincinnati Inc., Thermwood Corp., and Ingersoll Machine Tools Inc., and other key individuals from the supply chain.

Techmer authorities said that the 3D market “has grown sharply” in recent years, with early-adopter OEMs — including companies in aerospace, military, construction, and automotive — “fueling the explosion.”

To fulfill this development, the 3D/additive manufacturing sector required progressively specialized engineered materials. Techmer PM “was all-in” on partnering with these organizations to get that going, authorities said.

“ORNL’s research partnership with Techmer has produced exceptional scientific achievements in advanced materials and manufacturing,” said Moe Khaleel, ORNL associate laboratory director for Energy and Environmental Sciences. “We are pleased to see these innovations result in real impact on the local and state economy as the company expands its production line in East Tennessee.”

The new line will make high-quality, modified, carbon fiber-reinforced polymers to help developing demand for 3D printed items. Authorities said that Techmer has included and will keep including and training workers at all levels to help this development.

Somewhere else for Techmer, the firm is including a second work shift at its year-old aggravating plant in Querétaro, Mexico. That 60,000-square-foot plant employs 30 and will include a second shift in the second quarter of 2019.

Techmer employs 650 and has annual sales of more than $200 million. The firm positions as one of North America’s 30 biggest compounders and concentrate creators. Techmer has six offices in the U.S. notwithstanding sites in Brazil, Germany and Mexico.

Not long ago, Techmer was named to the Plastics News Best Places to Work list for 2019. It denotes the fourth time since 2014 that Techmer has gotten that respect.