Istanbul — One of Europe's largest makers of home appliances, Arçelik A.Ş., is urging the plastics industry to step up the pace in adopting 3-D printing technologies, as a way to “open doors” in developing new products and overcome limits with existing plastic technologies.
Speaking at a Dec. 2 conference ahead of the PlastEurasia trade fair in Istanbul, a senior executive in the company's manufacturing technology unit said it expects the technology to improve and be widely-used in a decade.
Istanbul-based Arçelik, which is Europe's second-largest maker of home appliances, is a large plastics molder in its own right, with 1,200 molding machines, 25,000 employees and 14 factories around the world.
But the company also buys about 40 percent of its plastic parts from other companies, and Metin Bilgili, the technical leader of Arçelik's manufacturing technologies directorate, told the conference that Arçelik sees potential for major advantages in its production processes with additive manufacturing.
“If we can't manufacture something with existing technology, 3-D printing will up doors for us,” he told an audience of more than 200 at the Turkish Plastics Industry Congress. “The plastic industry needs 3-D printing technology.”
Part of problem with existing plastics technologies is technical, he said: for example, there are limits in mold design that prevent the company from developing products as it would like.