Thursday, April 7, 2016

News: Metalysis planning to take prime space on AMP

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Metalysis, the Rotherham-based innovator is planning to take space on the Advanced Manufacturing Park (AMP) to create a process facility for its patented low-cost way to manufacture titanium and other specialist powder metals.

Metalysis holds the worldwide exploitation rights to the FCC Cambridge process which sees specialist powder metals created in a simple, cost effective process with significant environmental benefits.

The Manvers company employs around 50 staff and is in the process of commercialising the technology to produce titanium, tantalum, and related high value alloys. These are used increasingly by major worldwide industries such as aerospace, marine, medical, chemical, automotive and electronics.

The company, an investor and grant-backed Cambridge University spin out, recently secured £20m as it sets out plans for an initial public offering (IPO) to float on the stock exchange.

Now Rothbiz can reveal that Metalysis has submitted a planning application that would enable it to take on Unit 4 of the popular R-evolution development, joining Boeing, Rolls Royce, the University of Sheffield, Castings Technology International (CTI), Dormer Tools, Sandvik Coromant and TWI on the UK's premier advanced manufacturing park.

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The plans, drawn up by Structural Interiors Ltd, show that Metalysis are set to take the whole of the 22,000 sq ft unit and a proposed reconfiguration of the car park would include external plant equipment to support the manufacturing process. New signage and proposed changes to create a new entrance lobby are also outlined.

In March 2014, landowners and developers, Harworth Estates, signed a £4.3m forward-purchase agreement with Rotherham Council for Plots 3 and 4 of the R-evolution development. Later that year, the Council sold the 30,000 sq ft Unit 3 to X-Cel Superturn (GB) Limited for £2.75m as the global manufacturer of machined components expanded from its 10,000 sq ft facility at the Evolution development on the AMP.

The Metalysis technology, which produces metal powder directly from oxide using electrolysis, has the potential to significantly increase production volumes. The process uses less energy and also means that innovative alloys can be tailored to have the desired properties for specific applications.

When the Manvers plant began producing tantalum powder it was the first new primary tantalum metal production plant in Europe for more than 30 years.

Metalysis' strategic focus however is titanium, which can be used in a variety of new applications to satisfy the growing demand for low cost, light weight, high strength and corrosion resistant metals.

High grade and uniform, the lower-cost powders suit a wide variety of 3D printing needs across a variety of high-tech, industrial and manufacturing sectors. For example, further to the 3D printing of aerospace and automotive components, Metalysis has recently completed a programme with TWI, a UK leader in materials technology innovation that has a base on the AMP in Rotherham, which demonstrated the feasibility of its bespoke powders for 3D printing orthopaedic hip implants.

Metalysis is also working on major development projects with aerospace experts, GKN and German car maker, VW.

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Demand for further space on the AMP has led to developer, Harworth bringing forward the next phase. Plans for R-evolution 2 - a further 73,000 sq ft of space - were approved last week.

Duncan Armstrong-Payne, development manager for Waverley at Harworth Estates, said: "The success of Phase 1 of R-evolution and our commitment to investing in Rotherham made this scheme the natural choice to bring forward next. Our focus is now on fully preparing the site, ready for either freehold or leasehold interest from businesses wanting to be part of the AMP's success."

The scheme will be marketed by jointly appointed agents Knight Frank and Gent Visick.

Rebecca Schofield, partner at Knight Frank's Sheffield office, said: "We are witnessing good levels of demand from occupiers looking for space on the Advanced Manufacturing Park. R-evolution 2 offers flexibility to accommodate requirements from 5,000 to 26,000 sq ft and we are confident that the scheme will prove successful."

Metalysis website

Images: Metalysis / Structural Interiors

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