French Company Establishes First U.S. Operation at YBI
YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – A French company that manufactures the metal and ceramic filament used in additive manufacturing expects to expand in the United States from its new operations at the Youngstown Business Incubator.
“When we were looking for a footprint in the United States, we were looking for an area with competencies in additive manufacturing and also the ceramic industry,” said Guillaume de Calan, CEO of Nanoe (pronounced “Nanno-E”), based in Paris. “We had a very good reception here at the YBI and hired our first employee.”
The company specializes in the production of high purity fine oxide ceramic powders and metals that are converted into filament used in the 3D printing process. Nanoe produces the filament in France, but in the future hopes to bring some of that manufacturing to the U.S., de Calan said.
“It could be an opportunity,” de Calan said. “Some parts of the manufacturing could be done here. All of this depends on volumes.”
The filament produced by Nanoe is fed into smaller, more affordable desktop 3D printers, making it more accessible to the average manufacturer, de Calan said. Components produced through this process are used in the medical, automotive, aerospace and semi-conductor industries.
“They’re used in all industries where you really need high-tech materials with resistance to hear, corrosion and wear,” he said. “The potential market is huge. It could be used for tooling, for prototyping, and used for making small batches of products.”
The company has 15 employees in France and one employee working out of the incubator, de Calan said, with plans to hire additional employees in marketing, engineering and business development throughout the year.
Yogesh Ramadoss, now the sole employee of the company’s new Youngstown operation, said partnerships and resources such as Youngstown State University are critical to building new business.
“We’re relying on YSU to test our materials and give us their opinion based on their research,” Ramadoss said. Moreover, he noted the business is prepared to embrace new technologies as they enter the market. “We’re ready to adapt to any new technology,” he said.
In fall 2018, Nanoe launched two new brands: Zetamix, a ceramic and metal 3D-printing filament, and Zetaprint, a ceramic and metal FDM 3D printer.
Nanoe works with customers to reduce their product development lead times by facilitating prototyping with end-use materials.
This expansion strategically positions Nanoe in front of major players in several vertical markets such as automotive, aerospace, industrial and medical, de Calan said. In the long- term, Nanoe has plans to expand in other key markets.
Nanoe’s decision to place its operations in the YBI is also a key win for Youngstown, said Barb Ewing, the YBI’s CEO.
“A company of this magnitude coming to Youngstown and northeastern Ohio to develop their market really changes the discussion,” Ewing said. “It’s true validation that we are becoming the center for additive manufacturing in North America.”
The market today has several high-end printers capable of producing components with these materials, she said, but the lower-priced market is limited. Nanoe’s business model targets the smaller printers that are more affordable for the average manufacturer.
“As more companies open up opportunities for lower-priced technologies, it changes the discussion around printing metals and ceramics entirely. It opens more doors.”
Ewing said that YBI, America Makes and YSU understand additive manufacturing technology and its applications, and have access to potential customers across the country.
“We can help them make the connections and really go in and talk about how the technology could be used today,” she said.
Pictured: Nanoe’s sole employ at the Youngstown office will be Yogesh Ramadoss. Nanoe CEO Guillaume de Calan says the company employs 15 in France and will expand its U.S. workforce.
Copyright 2020 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.