GE Healthcare turns its focus on 3D printing and robotics
GE Healthcare are increasingly looking at how technology can provide new products and services to support the delivery of patient-centric care. The launch of the company’s new 3D printing and design center in Sweden will consequently speed up the launch of new products and services and simplify current manufacturing processes. The new center joins GE’s other manufacturing and engineering centre, located in Wisconsin.
The new center will combine advanced manufacturing technologies, such as metal and polymer printers and collaborative robots, or “cobots”, with traditional machining equipment which will enhance collaboration with clients and customers. Teams will design, test and produce 3D-printed parts for GE Healthcare products and prepare for final transfer to manufacturing.
“We are exploring opportunities where additive (3D Printing) can bring cost savings and technical improvements to our supply chain and products,” explains Andreas Marcstrom, Manager of Additive Engineering at GE Healthcare.
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“Simply printing a part doesn’t really deliver that much improvement to a product or process. You have to re-think the entire design – to do this, you need your R&D teams and your additive manufacturing engineers working from the start of the development process – our center in Uppsala ensures that critical step.”
For example, a 3D printed part can combine 20 parts into a single part and improve performance, simplifying and enhancing traditional processes whilst reducing costs.
Consequently, GE is now working with biotechnology company Amgen to test the performance of a chromatography column, used in the complex process to develop biopharmaceuticals, a range of drugs used to treat diseases including cancer and immune diseases.