The French manufacturer ARMOR Group and its brand Kimya, recognized as a key player and expert in high-performance 3D filaments in Europe, has recently expanded to the USA. In 2019, the United States accounted for 40% of the global 3D printing market, so naturally Kimya is determined to permanently establish itself in the North American market.
ARMOR Group begins production in the North American market
After a positive start to its additive manufacturing business in France and the whole of Europe, ARMOR Group decided to enter the North American market utilizing its existing subsidiary, ARMOR USA, located in Hebron, KY, just outside of Cincinnati. In 1999, ARMOR Group expanded into the USA by starting its first subsidiary in order to develop its Thermal Transfer Ribbons activity. From the initial space of 11,000 square feet, ARMOR USA has acquired its entire current building of 81,000 square feet and most recently in 2020 expanded another 30,000 square feet, creating 50% more space for new technical laboratories, a customer experience center, a training center and the space for the Kimya offering. Production of 3D materials and print production of services are now taking place in ARMOR USA.
“This is the first time that our transformation process of semi-finished products into 3D filaments, has set foot outside of France. The United States is the world’s largest market for additive manufacturing, and since ARMOR Group already has facilities there, it seems only natural for us to start production there.” Pierre-Antoine Pluvinage, Business Development Director of Kimya – Additive Manufacturing by ARMOR.
Doing business locally
Thanks to ARMOR Group’s expansion strategy, it has steadily and successfully grown over the past several years. ARMOR Group has increased its continental sales and added subsidiaries in Brazil, Canada, Mexico and recently in Colombia. This business model allows for proximity, which in turn provides customers with greater responsiveness and excellent service. This proximity also makes local business possible, in France and now in the United States. “Our local presence for more than two decades, has allowed us to provide customer and quality support and services for all of ARMOR Group’s activities. Additionally, this international presence allows us to optimize the existing supply chain” explains Ryan Heitkamp, Vice President of ARMOR’s operations in the United States.
Kimya, a high-value, 360°, additive manufacturing offer.
In 2018, ARMOR Group launched the design and production of 3D materials for industrial and technology companies through its brand, Kimya. The Kimya offering is a full, 360-degree solution for additive manufacturing. Research and design of customized materials take place at the Kimya Lab. The production of these custom and high added-value 3D materials occurs at Kimya Materials, while at the Kimya Factory, the Kimya team utilizes material know-how and additive processes in the production of finished parts. Pierre-Antoine Pluvinage explains that “Kimya’s development strategy prioritizes the Automotive, Rail, Aeronautics and Maritime sectors. These key sectors, now face difficult challenges when it comes to transforming their industrial production into additive manufacturing. This new technology solves material loss and specificity problems as well as material application that mass production is struggling to cope with.”