Rabat – The French multinational aviation giant Thales Group opened on September 8 an industrial plant specializing in metal 3D-printing in Midparc, Casablanca.
Moulay Hafid Elalamy, Minister of Industry, Investment, Trade and Digital Economy said at the opening that “Thales has introduced in Morocco a promising and a high-value technology.”
“This is a source of pride and a noteworthy accomplishment in the industrial sector,” explained Elalamy.
The center aims to become a platform to serve the international needs of the group and its customers, based on advanced technologies specialized in metal fabrication. The completion of the plant required an investment of EUR 25 million.
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The center will respond to the requirements of international customers specialized in the aerospace, defense, and security.
Pierre Prigent, director of Thales Maroc, explained the choice of the kingdom as the plant’s location.
“With an existing aerospace ecosystem of subcontractors, Morocco has everything needed to become Thales’ global center of expertise in 3D printing,” he said.
“The use of a secure digital platform provides the industrial Competence Centre with the latest innovations in terms of connected industry and smart plants, and will improve the competitiveness of the solutions offered to our customers,” Prigent added.
The 3D-printing center has two machines, for now. Thales hopes to install 10 other larger machines, with a team of 20 to 25 engineers.
Five Moroccan engineers work as part of the Thales Maroc group, having received training through the company in Belgium.
The center forms part of the 2014-2020 Industrial Acceleration Plan. The Moroccan government is planning to build an “innovative” ecosystem involving Thales and its local suppliers in the creation of the high-tech industrial center.
The group opened its local office in Rabat in 2006. It is specialized in the fields of defense, aerospace, transport, and security and has 45 employees.
In 2013, Thales and Rabat’s International University (UIR) signed a partnership in the aeronautics, space, and cyber security sectors to support technological innovation through training and research.