6K Additive to Double Powder Manufacturing, Expand Feedstock Preparation

6K Additive’s plans include 20,000 sq. ft. of additional powder production capacity with four new UniMelt microwave plasma systems as well as the addition of a 15,000 sq. ft. material feedstock preparation building. Photo courtesy of 6K Additive.

In an emailed press release, 6K Additive (North Andover, Massachusetts, USA), a division of 6K, a leader in the sustainable production of engineered materials for additive manufacturing and lithium-ion batteries, announced plans to significantly increase production capacity for additive manufacturing powders. 

The plan includes 20,000 sq. ft. (1,858.1 m2) of additional powder production capacity with four new UniMelt microwave plasma systems, as well as the addition of a 15,000 sq. ft. (1,393.5 m2) material feedstock preparation building. In addition, the company is projected to add as many as 35 new employees to the expanded facility. 

According to the company, over the past 12 months 6K Additive has seen rapid growth in the demand for their nickel, titanium, and refractory powders—thus, the company’s plans to increase capacity will help the company meet their customers’ needs for the coming 12-36 months. 

“Global unrest has shed a major spotlight on our nation’s supply chain vulnerability for critical materials,” says Frank Roberts, president of 6K Additive. “This, in combination with our consistent product quality, sustainability benefits, and the fact that we are a domestic supplier, have contributed to increased commercial activity with key strategic customers. This expansion will help us meet customer demands in the coming years and ensure efficiencies in current and future operations.” 

Adding the feedstock preparation facility to the 45-acre campus in Burgettstown, Pennsylvania provides the company with vertical integration of feedstock sizing for nickel and titanium in the same location. This will help to streamline operations, provide faster delivery, and ultimate control and quality of the powder produced. 

The Burgettstown plant currently produced a full range of powders, including nickel 718 %& 625, titanium-64, stainless steel, and copper, as well as capabilities to produce aluminum alloys. 6K Additive also runs two dedicated production systems for UniMelt, the company’s plasma technology, that are co-located at the company’s North Andover headquarters. These systems produce tungsten, rhenium, and niobium-based alloys for hypersonic, defense, and rocket applications. 

“The ability to meet the demands of our customers, in both quality and delivery, is paramount for our organization,” says Eric Martin, chief operating officer for 6K Additive. “The addition of a feedstock preparation facility and the added UniMelt production capacity will help to create a consistent operational flow to meet this demand.”

“However, I am equally excited to be able to bring on more talent to the organization with as many as 35 additional employees planned,” Martin adds. “it’s great for our organization as well as the tri-state area.”