Additive manufacturing specialist Sintavia is enhancing its non-destructive testing (NDT) capabilities with its recent acquisition of QC Laboratories.
Prior to the acquisition, Sintavia outsourced NDT of additively manufactured (AM) components to QC Laboratories, which holds approvals from a wide range of major aerospace OEMs for radiographic, fluorescent penetrant, ultrasonic, magnetic particle and eddy current inspection processes. According to Sintavia, QC Laboratories also has NDT special process approvals from many of its production hardware customers.
“We have worked with QC Labs for a number of years to develop surface finish inspection metrics that are relevant for the additive manufacturing industry,” explains Doug Hedge, president and chief technology officer, Sintavia. He adds that the acquisition is a “natural extension of this same process” and that the companies will continue working together to “develop acceptable NDT metrics for production AM components.”
According to Brian Neff, Sintavia’s CEO, there were two main drivers behind the acquisition. Neff says QC Labs’ more than 50 years of NDT expertise is beneficial in developing proprietary build strategies to maximize part surface finish conformance, since AM components possess different surface finish characteristics than traditionally cast parts.
“Second, as the level of additively manufactured production hardware has increased at Sintavia, NDT costs have become a greater part of the cost equation and the acquisition just made economic sense,” Neff adds. “AM production parts are less expensive than cast parts, so we are very cost-conscious where we can be.”
Although Sintavia did not disclose additional terms of the transaction, it says it expects QC Labs to operate as a standalone subsidiary post-closing.
QC Labs is headquartered in Hollywood, Florida—the same city where Sintavia opened a new 55,000 ft.2 advanced manufacturing facility earlier this year. Neff says the close proximity will provide benefits and that QC Labs’ additional locations in Orlando, Florida and Cincinnati, Ohio will provide growth opportunities as well.
In terms of potential future growth or acquisitions, Neff says Sintavia will “continue to evaluate vertically aligned opportunities” related to the company’s focus on being a technical leader within additively manufactured production hardware.