NORTH ANDOVER – Thursday, April 7, 2022 – A new $1.5 million grant from the Massachusetts Manufacturing Innovation Initiative (M2I2) to 6K was announced. The grant will boost the company’s cutting-edge production of advanced materials that are used in additive manufacturing and in the production of batteries for electric vehicles, grid storage, and consumer electronics. 6K’s cutting-edge UniMelt® microwave technology is “quintessentially Massachusetts” in terms of its innovative, sustainable, and environmentally-friendly characteristics, which recycles scrap materials or used metal powder or parts that would otherwise have gone to landfill, and instead transforms it into premium metal powder used in 3D printing for the production parts used in aerospace, defense, medical, and automotive applications. 6K has also announced a new 33,000-square-foot battery center of excellence pre-production facility in North Andover, which will be one of the largest battery material production facilities in the United States.
The grant was announced by Lt. Governor Karyn Polito and Housing and Economic Development Secretary Mike Kennealy during an event at 6K’s new battery material production facility, which was followed by a tour of 6K’s proprietary UniMelt® advanced production plasma systems. The state grant will fund the purchase of one new UniMelt system, a technology that is designed by 6K and will be manufactured by Helfrich Brothers Boiler Works in Lawrence with components from AVS, Inc. in Ayer, highlighting the strong in-state supply chain.
The new UniMelt system will be used to produce metal powders used in additive manufacturing and battery material production, creating new opportunities to develop our future workforce in collaboration with local vocational schools, community colleges and universities. The UniMelt enables the development of advanced materials across a wide spectrum of markets including additive manufacturing, lithium-ion batteries, and energy storage. The new unit will join others in the company’s new facility, expanding production capability.
“6K is honored to be the recipient of the M2I2 grant. Our UniMelt production platform transforms the way performance materials are produced and we can use this system for training a local workforce for the future of manufacturing,” said 6K’s Vice President of Government Affairs Mary Cronin. “We hope to see additional programs like the M2I2 passed by the Legislature that can offer foundational support for MA-based companies like 6K to stay in Massachusetts, to innovate, deploy, and position Massachusetts as a leader and a hub in the clean energy revolution.”