Insights from industry

The Impact of Additive Manufacturing on Research and Future Trends


In this interview, Adam Sells, Sales Manager at Goodfellow Cambridge Ltd talks to AZoM about how they keep up with new trends and the impact of additive manufacturing on research.

Please tell us about your role and the work you do at Goodfellow?

My role at Goodfellow is two-fold: to facilitate the needs of our sales team in providing the best possible service and materials to their customers, and to facilitate the needs of the customers I continue to work with as the main point of contact. In both cases, this often involves reviewing requirements and bringing together expertise from both the technical and commercial sides of our business as well as making sure we have understood what the customer needs.  

My responsibility is for the UK, France, and Germany, as well as for some customers in the rest of Europe and throughout the world. We also provide support for our global distributors.

Can you tell us about how you work with your customers? What have been the major challenges you have faced?

Where possible, we try to have a collaborative relationship with our customers. The key to achieving this is understanding their industry, products, and processes in as much detail as possible so that we can make the right recommendations regarding materials and their specifications. I am incredibly lucky to have the support of an exceptionally knowledgeable team of technical specialists who make this much easier.  From there, it’s about maintaining the relationship on a regular basis to make sure we are up to date on their business needs and challenges and able to support them where we can.

The most critical challenges we face are when materials are not meeting the customers’ requirements and causing stops in production or a block in an R&D process.

How do you overcome these challenges?

We must try to understand the reason, and this is normally done by lots of direct communication with the end-user and utilization of the tools and experience we have within the business.

What trends do you foresee coming up in the future?

We see the rise of additive manufacturing and its impact initially on research and then on manufacturing, and how that is changing the landscape. With this rise, the demand for advanced spherical powders is increasing.  

Nanomaterials are being utilized more and more in composite materials to improve and fine-tune properties. We foresee this leading to materials that have in-built sensing and autonomous repair mechanisms along with being stronger or wear-resistant, more conductive, etc.

Researchers have started building materials and properties from the nanoscale and through the size ranges to unlock new potential. This will likely be crucial in the new and expanding areas of sensors, battery technology, and sustainable materials.

New materials are going to play a crucial role in areas such as battery technology and sustainable materials. Image Credit:Shutterstock/IIIus_man

I think we are also seeing a change in the availability of knowledge and access to information on material properties in the form of materials libraries and software, so interdisciplinary research and approaches to problem-solving are becoming more and more commonplace.

How do you think the next generation of salespeople can handle the new trends?

It’s important that as salespeople we have enough understanding and language to be able to engage with our technically minded customers, but also to know when it’s the right time to ask for help.

It is also important that we communicate back to the business about what we are seeing with our customers so the business can continue to grow and adapt to new trends. We are in a fortunate position to see these developments and new technologies with our customers on a regular basis, and we must not lose sight of this.

It is key that we are able to coordinate things and bring in the right expertise to keep the process on track, making sure all involved understand the time pressures.  Nevertheless, we are also confident in our own expertise and perspective to challenge what is being discussed, when appropriate.

Can you tell us about the company strategy?

The Company’s guiding principles are around quality, a relevant and innovative product offering, and enhancing our technical expertise to support this product range. We want to make sure that by having a stock of product and manufacturing/processing capabilities, we are ready to facilitate the innovation of customers and add value to what they are doing.

This goes hand in hand with making sure our systems and processes are optimized and our people have the expertise to serve our customers.

Goodfellow is already a global company, and a large part of the company’s current strategy is about expanding this further to better meet the specific needs of each region and culture.

What role will this play in Goodfellow’s future?

These core principles have built Goodfellow to where it is today, and I am sure they will continue to shape the business as it grows into the future.

We will continue to bring forward innovative new products that have the potential to unlock new possibilities and improve our core range, making it even more consistent and available.

Our Company principles inform the decisions that are being taken and investments that are being made, and they also guide – on a day-to-day basis – all those who work here.

Where can our readers go to find out more?

I would point readers towards the Materials Hub, which is a platform that introduces technical materials to designers and artists and acts as a knowledgeable 'go-to' space to learn about materials and to connect with others.

For those from a technical background, the Goodfellow website has a wealth of data and case studies on applications from space to automotive.

However, the best thing to do would be to give us a call and talk through any material applications and challenges and how we might be able to help.

About Adam Sells

Adam is the Sales Manager of Goodfellow Cambridge Ltd, a leading global supplier of materials for research, innovation and development in science and industry sectors. Goodfellow has an extensive range of products which are shipped worldwide.

 

Adam holds a degree in Chemistry from the University of Sheffield, and has worked for Goodfellow for more than 6 years in different roles. His team consists of knowledgeable staff dedicated to making sure customers’ needs are understood and facilitated, and Goodfellow’s new products and innovative approaches are communicated.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed here are those of the interviewee and do not necessarily represent the views of AZoM.com Limited (T/A) AZoNetwork, the owner and operator of this website. This disclaimer forms part of the Terms and Conditions of use of this website.

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