HP Inc. Signs Ricoh Japan, Mutoh, as ‘Master Partners’ to Sell HP 3D Printers in Japan

3D Print reports that HP Inc.  – which earlier this month announced a major expansion into the Asia-Pacific region, adding 12 new Asia-Pacific resellers for its Multi Jet Fusion 3D printers – announced new 3D-printer reseller partnerships with Mutoh Industries and Ricoh Japan, both designed to extend HP’s reach into Japan, with both Mutoh and Ricoh signing on as the world’s first HP 3D Printing Master Partners.

The two companies will extend the reach of HP’s 3D printers via new experience centers in Japan that will enable potential customers to get hands-on experience with HP Multi Jet Fusion 3D printers.

Altogether, HP is setting up some 16 3D Printing Reference and Experience Centers in seven U.S. states, five European countries, and in several cities in Asia-Pacific, including Beijing, Hangzhou, Shanghai, Taipei, Tokyo, Singapore, and Melbourne .

This week in Tokyo, Japan, HP Inc.’s Stephen Nigro, president of HP’s 3D Printing business, attended the Design Engineering & Manufacturing Solutions Expo (DMS) to announce the new partnerships for the Japanese market.

On his Linked-In page, Richard Bailey, president, Asia-Pacific and Japan at HP Inc., explained that “While 3D printing is a relatively small market today, it has the potential to truly disrupt the $12 trillion manufacturing industry. Analysts predict a 30% annual growth rate, meaning that 3D printing could surge to an $18 billion market within the next five years. Asia-Pacific is, in many ways, leading this charge – ushering in a new era of digital manufacturing, and almost any manufacturer will be able to benefit. Now, no matter what kind of part you make, 3D printing can make it better. It improves the manufacturing process, inventory costs and lead times across products and across industries.”

According to Bailey, critical to 3D printing’s long-term success in the region will be the ability for commercial and industrial players across Asia-Pacific to drive down costs through enhanced part quality and product capabilities.

Bailey explained that: “For now, China and Japan are of particular importance. These markets are booming and the potential is there. To help spur growth, in China we have partnered with Shining 3D, a leading provider of 3D printing and scanning services. Together we will be able to deploy our biggest 3D printing innovations to its Beijing, Chengdu, Guangzhou, Nanjing, and Shanghai facilities. In Japan, we are relying on MUTOH and Ricoh Japan as HP Master Partners. We have also expanded our open 3D materials and applications ecosystem with new partners China Sinopec Group, China XD, and Silver Age Engineering Plastics.”

Key to HP’s efforts to introduced its 3D printing globally are its HP Partner First 3D Printing Specialization program; currently there are more than 40 members globally, with the expanded program initially serving Greater China, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, and Australia as it extends its reach beyond North America and Europe.

“We want to give manufacturers across the region unprecedented control over the colors, applications and materials they use. We are already discussing embedding intelligence like sensors, or information such as invisible inventory codes, into 3D-printed products….This will transform manufacturing processes and supply chains, and – for all of us – change the types of products we use and the way in which we use them,” wrote Bailey.

For the first time in Japan, visitors to DMS this week can see the HP Jet Fusion 3D 4200/3200 Printing Solution and HP Jet Fusion 3D Processing Station with Fast Cooling, alongside part and material samples including HP 3D High Reusability PA 11, HP 3D High Reusability PA 12 and VESTOSINT 3D Z2773 PA 12. HP is appearing during DMS at booth #41-36. Discuss in the HP forum at 3DPB.com.

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