Soligen’s Technology and Market Vision
Soligen is in the early stages of revolutionizing the multi billion dollar custom metal casting industry. Making original complex cast metal prototypes is a long and arduous process that typically takes 6 to 12 months using conventional tooling and casting methods. Soligen's unique technology, known as Direct Shell Production Casting (or DSPC), reduces this process to days or weeks. The company is as revolutionary to metal casting as Xerox was to copies, and Polaroid was to photography. Instead of just making two-dimensional images, however, Soligen rapidly produces fully functional three-dimensional cast metal components.
Voted as one of the "Top 15 New Technologies" by Automotive Engineering magazine and covered as one of the “Heroes of US Manufacturing” in the May, 1998 issue of Fortune magazine, Soligen is the world's first manufacturer of functional prototype cast metal parts created directly from computer aided design (CAD) digital files. The company's client roster is like an international Who's Who of automotive firms, including the U.S. Big Three, (Ford, GM and DaimlerChrysler), and many of their major tier 1 suppliers including Delphi, Visteon, Borg Warner, Eaton and others. While Soligen has focused its penetration efforts in the
Automotive parts made at Soligen have been in engines in all NASCAR races for several years in a row. Engine design specialists like Lotus, Orbital, SWRI, FEV and others have used Soligen to produce some of their most complex cylinder heads. Other repeat customers include industrial giants like Boeing, Holset and Fleetguard (Divisions of Cummins), Kohler, Mercury Marine, and Caterpillar.
Custom metal casting is a multi billion dollar per year business in the
Soligen's technological advances represent the first high-technology paradigm shift in casting applications to enter the foundry industry. The company has been able to reduce the time and cost of casting engine blocks, cylinder heads, manifolds and other metal parts involved in building and testing prototype automotive and aerospace engines by an order of magnitude--literally reducing the parts delivery time frame from 6-12 months to as fast as 10-25 days.
The company's machines have successfully digitally produced ceramic casting molds within days, directly from CAD files. Casting these molds with a wide variety of alloys, Soligen has delivered, in record time, everything from functional engine blocks to golf club heads. Furthermore, cast parts made directly from CAD via Soligen's machines are often more accurate, with closer tolerances and overall dimensions, than those made by conventional casting or alternative prototyping techniques.
Soligen’ primary focus has been on automotive powertrain prototype parts. Management believes that establishing a foothold among automakers is the quickest path to establishing a large, enduring program for its technology and consequently to penetrate the high end mass manufacturers of cast parts with complex geometry such as cylinder heads and engine blocks.
Soligen's technology has the potential to literally change the entire industrial process, enabling much more rapid product evolutions than were possible just a few years ago. The winning car of the 1998 Daytona 500 was the first car to utilize an intake manifold made at Soligen's facilities from metal tools rapidly created by Soligen’s equipment. Since then Soligen became a major supplier for OEM intake manifolds for racing applications. For more exotic applications, the company's machines literally make possible the production of parts that could not previously be fabricated due to the complexity of their inner cavities and geometry.
Custom metal casting is only the first stage of Soligen's business model. With the maturing of Soligen’s casting technology and experience, the company is ready to introduce hybrid solutions for the metal casting industry. The next generation of Soligen machines is designed to print intricate cores in production quantities, to replace conventionally produced cores in casting lines for cylinder heads and engine blocks. Digital Core Manufacturing (or DCM) promises to revolutionize foundries by enabling cylinder heads and engine blocks to be cast with superior mechanical properties and intricate features. Such features are presently either impossible to cast or require expensive secondary machining.
With the encouragement and support of a key customer, the company has launched a program to prove and implement Digital Core Manufacturing in high volume foundries. DCM will be based on Soligen’s next generation machines installed at these foundries to produce complex cavity cores directly from CAD files. Replacing conventional core making with DCM promises to substantially simplify core assembly, reduce tooling and setup time, increase flexibility, and reduce changeover time and cost in production.
Soligen believes that as the industry realizes the benefits of the paradigm shift Soligen offers, that parts developers and the production foundries will embrace it.
The company's business plan calls for evolving its prototyping business into a pilot production foundry able to make high end cylinder heads and engine blocks with digitally produced core packages, thereby reducing significantly and possibly eliminating the need for core boxes and conventional core machines. Soligen believes that this pilot foundry will clearly demonstrate the advent of Digital Core Manufacturing, in increasing manufacturing flexibility resulting in lower production cost as well as improved quality.
Beyond the purpose of being a demonstration to the foundry industry, the company believes that this pilot foundry will operate as a profit center gaining contracts with the dozens of automotive OEM manufacturers and suppliers already on its client rolls. It is management’s belief that the success of this pilot foundry is the key to a technology transfer program that will change the entire foundry industry, initially by converting cylinder head and block casting lines to incorporate DCM, and later expanding to less complex castings in automotive, off-road and aerospace engines, complex gearbox housings and air, fuel and oil pumps and compressors.
Soligen Corporate History:
Soligen Technologies, Inc. is a
In April 1993, the Company acquired all of the issued and outstanding shares of Soligen. Prior to the acquisition, the Company was an inactive Canadian company seeking out a suitable business for acquisition or merger, which reincorporated in the State of
In its first three years of operation, the Company focused on the development of DSPC technology, which is now substantially complete. During this development program, the Company sold and installed developmental DSPC machines at United Technologies Pratt & Whitney Aircraft Division, Johnson & Johnson, Sandia National Laboratories and Ashland Chemical of Columbus, Ohio (a division of Ashland Oil). In January 1995, the Company established the first DSPC center at the Company’s headquarters in
The Company’s common stock was formally listed for trading on the American Stock Exchange Emerging Company Marketplace (AMEX:ECM) under the symbol "SGT" and on the Canadian Venture Exchange (the "CDNX"), under the symbol "SGT." On May 24, 1999, the AMEX notified the Company that its common stock listing did not meet their minimum listing guidelines.
Forward Looking-Statements and Associated Risks
This document contains certain forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are based largely on the Company's current expectations and are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties including, among others (i) customer acceptance of the Company's "Digital Core Manufacturing" program; (ii) the possible emergence of competing technologies; and (iii) the Company's ability to obtain additional financing required to support its projected revenue growth. Actual results could differ materially from these forward-looking statements. In view of these risks and uncertainties, there can be no assurance that the forward-looking statements contained in this document will in fact transpire. Please take the above risk in consideration prior to making any investment decision in Soligen’s stock.