Earlier this week, Henkel Ireland celebrated the opening of its new Innovation and Interaction Centre for Additive Manufacturing (3D Printing) in Tallaght, Ireland, near Dublin. The facility, which is the first in a new generation of industrial customer centers, will become Henkel’s European regional hub for technology presentations, demonstrations, training, testing as well as customer service for 3D Printing solutions.
“The opening of the Innovation and Interaction Centre strengthens Henkel’s operations in Ireland and will bring customers and strategic partners to what is now an extremely important European regional hub for the business,” Dr. Michael Todd, Global Head of Innovation at Henkel Adhesive Technologies said at the opening of the Innovation and Interaction Centre. “Additive Manufacturing has the potential to change value chains and businesses across many industries. As such, Henkel is convinced that this is the market to get involved with next. Henkel’s Tallaght site was chosen as the regional hub for Europe due to the existing team’s leading R&D knowledge and experience in resins and other adhesive technologies; and because of the site’s proximity to Henkel Ireland’s production and R&D bases.”
Henkel, which also owns beauty care and laundry and home care divisions, is the world’s largest manufacturer of adhesives, sealants and functional coatings and, in Dublin, has a significant manufacturing and R&D operation for a wide range of adhesive technologies, serving a global market.
Henkel’s Additive Manufacturing project, which is supported by the Irish Government through IDA Ireland, is based on a four-year investment plan with an estimated maximum investment of about $20 million to expand the company’s capabilities in R&D, application and product development. The company aims to support a team of highly skilled scientists and engineers who will develop new advanced materials for use in a broad range of industrial manufacturing.
“Additive Manufacturing will be a significant disruptor to future manufacturing methodologies,” said Henkel Technology Centre Director, Dr. Matthew Holloway. “The decision to locate this center in Dublin demonstrates Henkel’s commitment to Ireland and cements its position as a vital European hub for the global business. At Henkel Ireland, we have a proven track record of developing world-class adhesives and, as such, we look forward to focusing our expertise on creating new chemistries and technologies for 3D Printing. In addition, the cluster of leading med-tech, aerospace and other industries using 3D printing, made Ireland a natural choice to create a regional hub for Europe.”
Through its strategic partnerships with global technology leaders, Henkel is driving adoption in the rapidly growing market for additive manufacturing beyond prototyping to final parts production, and offers novel materials, specialized equipment and a variety of solutions for post-processing. In addition to Henkel’s Innovation and Interaction Centre in Ireland, two more regional centers are also currently in development, one in Rocky Hill (for North America) and another in Shanghai (for Asia).
“The opening of this new Additive Manufacturing center of excellence further consolidates Henkel’s operations in Ireland where the company already employs 400 people across three sites,” Minister of State at the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government, Damien English TD said while officiating at the opening event. “The company’s choice of Dublin for this European hub for 3D Printing technology is a clear endorsement of the innovation ecosystem in Ireland. We very much appreciate Henkel’s investment and the quality jobs being provided, which will help put Ireland at the forefront of a new and exciting chapter in manufacturing”.
“Henkel is a significant employer in Ireland employing 400 people and is a long-standing IDA client,” commented Executive Director of IDA Ireland Mary Buckley. “Additive Manufacturing will be of crucial importance globally, with its potential applications in industries such as healthcare and automotive. It presents a fantastic opportunity for Ireland to enhance our global reputation in R&D in novel technologies so that we continue to be at the heart of delivering innovative new products to market.”
The initial stage of the Innovation and Interaction Centre includes 700 square meters of laboratories, customer service offices, meeting rooms and 3D printing facilities. Henkel plans to further expand the center to 2,000 square meters to include five additional laboratories, workstations and meeting spaces over the next two years.
The center is equipped with Carbon and HP printers in addition to specialized Henkel equipment, technology and devices for Additive Manufacturing. The Innovation and Interaction Centre is a hub for training and customer service from sectors as diverse as med tech, automotive and manufacturing will be able to discover the world-leading solutions Henkel offers.
In Ireland, Henkel employs approximately 400 workers at three sites: Tallaght, Adhesives R&D, production, bottling and packaging; Ballyfermot, adhesives manufacturing; and Little Island, Cork, DYLON Colour Catcher manufacturing.