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Sridhar Balaram

Founder & MD

Intech Additive Solutions

ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING Success of AM lies in positive ROI and reasonable cost per part

Apr 14, 2020

…mentions Sridhar Balaram, Founder & MD, Intech Additive Solutions, in this interview with Anvita Pillai. Amongst the forerunners of Metal 3D Printing in India, the company through the experience gained launched its first commercial grade Metal 3D printer, which was designed, developed and built in India. Balaram, in this conversation canvasses the impact & potential of AM, their made in India iFusion series, plans for talent upskilling and more. Excerpts…

Your company changed its name from Intech DMLS Solutions to now Intech Additive Solutions. What is the reason behind it?

From being the forerunners of Metal 3D Printing in India to now launching the first commercial grade Metal 3D printer – designed, developed and manufactured by us – we have come a long way. To properly reflect the change in our business offerings, we decided to change the company’s name from ‘Intech DMLS’ to ‘Intech Additive Solutions’.

How according to you will AM impact the automotive manufacturing industry in the long run?

For the automotive industry, significant advances in AM have opened doors for newer designs; cleaner, lighter and safer products; shorter lead times and lower costs. While automotive OEMs and suppliers primarily use AM for rapid prototyping, the technical trajectory of AM would make a strong case for its use in product innovation and high-volume direct manufacturing in the future.

Which industries does Intech Additive cater to? Which industry, according to you, can maximise its potential using 3D Printing?

We cater to aerospace & defence, automotive, tool & die, general engineering and medical industry. Each industry has implemented 3D Printing as a viable option part of its Industry 4.0 transformation. We see a huge potential in the general engineering segment, namely oil & gas industry, who are primarily using AM for many different applications. Other industry verticals, such as automotive, medical and aerospace, are not far behind.

Can you tell us about how your iFusion Series helps the manufacturing industry fuel the industrialisation of AM in India?

The iFusion series of Metal 3D printers is a significant milestone in our innovation journey in India. The series is based on the Selective Laser Melting (SLM) / Laser Powder Bed Fusion (LPBF) technology. They are designed for high precision, stability, reliability and to deliver performance with higher build rates. The overall goal is to reduce the cost of acquisition & operations for the customer and to create an ecosystem for enhanced AM adoption in India.

How are you ensuring talents are upskilled to use these new technologies like 3D Printing/AM in the market?

It is still the early days for the implementation and widespread adoption of AM technologies in India. To address this challenge, Intech plans on starting a training academy called ‘INTECHAM Academy’. It is India‘s first training program, started with the objective of bringing increased awareness about AM and 3D Printing technologies. We will be offering certificate courses to graduates and industry personnel, to upskill the workforce with the necessary skills required for digital manufacturing.

How do you plan on strengthening your presence in India?

Establishing the AM ecosystem is the key. The success of AM lies in positive ROI and reasonable cost per part. With this is mind, we have successfully developed hardware and related software and are setting up print farms for our customers to experience the benefits of AM. Intech will invest £7 million over the period 2020-2022 to enhance its Low Mass Production (LMP) capabilities.

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