M4 Sciences Signs Second Agreement with Belgium-Based NV Bekaert SA to Expand Machining Technology in Global Metals Market

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - James Mann, CEO of M4 Sciences LLC, announced that the company has signed a second technology sublicense agreement for its Modulation-Assisted Machining (MAM)® technology.

Mann and officials from NV Bekaert SA, a global company with headquarters in Belgium, signed a long-term agreement that will give Bekaert access to M4 Sciences' MAM technology and related patents. This agreement follows on a similar arrangement in 2011.

Bekaert is the world's largest independent manufacturer of drawn-steel wire products and a technological leader in steel wire transformation and coatings. With combined sales of €4.6 billion ($6.06 billion) in 2011, customers in more than 120 countries, 27,000 employees and a global production platform, Bekaert continuously seeks innovation opportunities, both in its product portfolio and its internal production processing and equipment design.

"The additional technology sublicense agreement follows on the success of our previous co-development together with Bekaert," Mann said. "Bekaert will be implementing the modulation-assisted machining in a breakthrough manufacturing process, and the new agreement will expand their market applications."  

He added that the specific details of the technology, commercial applications and the agreement remain confidential.

"Bekaert continues to lead their industry by adopting new technology. The new application demonstrates the economic potential for machining technology when adopted by an industry champion. A key to Bekaert's success with MAM was their pursuit of technical advantage, commitment to engineering excellence and early partnership with M4 Sciences," Mann said.

The use of MAM in metals processing is a new field of application for the technology. M4 Sciences' MAM technology is the first of its kind in the machining industry. The technology was first integrated by M4 Sciences into a machining system, called the TriboMAM drilling system, which superimposes a low-frequency oscillation in drilling processes. The commercial introduction of the TriboMAM led to M4 Sciences receiving the 2010 R&D 100 Award and the 2011 Tibbetts Award from the U.S. Small Business Administration. The technology allows up to a 500 percent increase in drilling productivity and reduces manufacturing cost for high value-added precision drilling operations in computer-controlled machines.

The technology developed by M4 Sciences was discovered at Purdue University's School of Industrial Engineering and licensed through the Purdue Research Foundation's Office of Technology Commercialization. Mann, also a co-author of the patents, co-founded M4 Sciences in 2005 at the Purdue Research Park

"The extended collaboration between M4 Sciences and NV Bekaert SA is a clear indication of the global impact of Purdue University technologies," said Joseph B. Hornett, senior vice president, treasurer and COO of the Purdue Research Foundation, which manages the Purdue Research Park.