Formnext 2023 Puts the Nordic Region in the Spotlight
Formnext 2023 has officially opened its doors! As people travel around the world to enjoy conferences, discussions and more, the role of exhibitors in particular cannot be ignored. Especially those who come to take part while representing the annual partner country, or in some cases partner region. In 2023, the honor goes to the Nordic region as Formnext seeks to highlight additive manufacturing in Northern Europe, not just for the economic potential of the region but also for its material efficiency and its commitment to sustainability, particularly when it comes to the energy sector.
For those who may not be aware, the Nordic countries are a geographical (and cultural) region in Northern Europe. It is composed of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden as well as the autonomous territories of the Faroe Island, Greenland and autonomous region of Åland. Though well-known for its stunning beauty as well as its quality of life, it may not perhaps be the first that comes to mind when it comes to additive manufacturing.
Although it is certainly not the region with the most AM solution manufacturers nor service providers, the region is up and coming and has grown in recent years. Indeed, more and more industries located in these countries are seeing the value for 3D printing. Take the oil industry in Norway for example, which expects that the use of AM technologies will help create jobs and increase profit all while staying more sustainable. Sini Metsä-Kortelainen from the Finnish Additive Manufacturing Ecosystem emphasizes that the Nordic regions are investing heavily in new AM technologies, especially in education. In the long term, these countries should become leaders in sustainable AM. “In Nordics the high quality of products is the competitive edge in various industries and AM does not make the exception. In Finland for example we are able to design, produce and test components and products with AM that are under critical loading such as pressure equipment and fatigue resistance components“, she says. Still, the region is behind compared to other parts of Western Europe and certainly next to AM powerhouses like the USA and China. That ideally will be changed through this partnership with Formnext.
Jan Tore Usken, Manager at Norwegian AM, expands on the importance of the inclusion of the Nordic region at Formnext, explaining, “We are truly humbled by this year’s Formnext spotlight at the Nordics. We are hoping for business and technology inspiration, great networking and to find help scaling up the Norwegian AM activity. To be honest I personally think Norway is lagging behind in utilizing the benefits of AM – but hopefully the activity will accelerate.” Sini Metsä-Kortelainen is also proud to represent the Finnish AM industry and expects input from industry leaders, “Meeting AM experts with fruitful discussions and getting a view on current AM trends and prospects is the key for me also this year. I am very much looking forward to exploring new AM materials and technologies, process automation solutions, novel research, and especially how the sustainability of AM is visible and considered.”
Nordic Exhibitors at Formnext 2023
As part of the partner region with Formnext, exhibitors from the Nordic countries will have the opportunity to be part of the Nordic Pavilion in Hall 11.0, D68. More specifically, the Danish AM Hub will be front and center as they take the role of lead partner for the region. Because of this, there will be a series of events supported by the Danish AM Hub on sustainability as well as daily live demonstrations of the Danish AM Hub’s CO2 Calculator.
There will be other Nordic regions represented as well in different halls and booths. In total, there will be around 26 exhibitors representing Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden bringing the different expertise of their respective countries. For example, the Finnish AM industry is expected to display service providers, software suppliers and polymer 3D printer manufacturers who can showcase the sector’s strong links to the industry. While Sweden plans to focus on its strong connection to material manufacturing.
Attendees can also expect to find interesting applications including those from global enterprises based in the region. In the Nordic Pavilion, one can find out more about companies that have worked with Lego, Danfoss or Grundfos. Or Create It Real which is noted for its specialized solution for the orthopedics industry. Furthermore, the exhibitors will be showing innovations from all along the entire AM process chain. Frank Rosengreen Lorenzen, CEO of the Danish AM Hub, brought particular attention to Denmark in a press release, welcoming the “recognition of the skilled and innovative Danish owner-managers, designers, engineers and manufacturers, who are continually challenging and expanding the scope of AM technology to design, develop and manufacture the products of the future.”
A Focus on Sustainability
The Nordic region has another reason to be in the spotlight this year. The countries are particularly well-known for their commitment to sustainability including through the use of additive manufacturing. And they hope to bring attention to this to many at Formnext this year.
From Norwegian AM, Usken remarked, “The Nordic Region has gone furthest in achieving many of the SDGs within Agenda 2030. Finland, Denmark, Sweden and Norway are all in the top five of the latest annual international comparison according to Stiftung’s and Sustainable Development Solutions Network’s Sustainability Report from July 2022. AM is helping out on a lot of the goals including on SDG 9, which focuses on industry, innovation and infrastructure, as well as SDG 12, which is concerned with responsible consumption and production, among others.”
Metsä-Kortelainen also highlights the focus on sustainability in the northern industry, especially through their special commitment to nature: “Our relationship with nature is unique and very close, and we have been the forerunners in taking care of the environment and safe and equal working conditions in industrial operations. The goal is to foster sustainability in all AM related operations, and in Formnext we’ll bring up good examples and showcases on sustainable AM. In addition, we want to bring sustainability as one of the criteria for companies when choosing the manufacturing methods and supply chains of the components. And with AM we can bring added value in favor of sustainability.“
As mentioned, to support this focus on sustainability, a number of different events will be offered. These include a supporting events program dedicated to the topic of sustainability and the Nordic region. In addition to the CO2 calculator presented by the Danish AM Hub, every member of the Nordic region seems excited to showcase its advancements in sustainability. You can find out more about the different exhibitors at Formnext this year in our list HERE.
Will you be heading to the Nordic pavilion at Formnext this year? Let us know in a comment below or on our LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter pages! Don’t forget to sign up for our free weekly Newsletter here, the latest 3D printing news straight to your inbox! You can also find all our videos on our YouTube channel.