GE Integrates Additive Manufacturing into New Advanced Facility
General Electric (GE) has announced plans to add a technology centre to its manufacturing and engineering complex in Greenville, South Carolina to coincide with ongoing industry developments being made in 3D printing, and particularly laser sintering.
Major investments have been made in aerospace, among other sectors, which rely on highly detailed, lightweight, customised parts, and GE has now responded in turn with its new facility, which will be known as the Advanced Manufacturing Works.
Predicted to open in 2015, the first-of-its-kind centre will employ a variety of technologies including additive manufacturing using lasers and electron beams, five-axis machining, automated welding and advanced composites.
The company plans to use it to develop high-tech manufacturing processes across its largest industrial business unit, Power and Water.
The new technology centre will develop prototypes and processes for a host of other GE businesses including its heavy-duty gas turbine, wind turbine, gas engine, nuclear power services and water purification businesses, allowing the company to carry out processes more quickly and at a higher standard.
“Greenville serves as the ideal location for the Power and Water advanced manufacturing site. Here we will be able to deliver even more innovative breakthrough products and services, work better with each other and our customers, and bring best-in-class technologies to market quicker,” GE Power and Water President and CEO, Steve Bolze said.
Kurt Goodwin, the GE executive who will manage the new centre in Greenville, said the new project may help create jobs in Greenville in emerging markets, especially in the area of making prototypes from metal powder from within the site.
GE plans to spend $400 million on the new centre over the next 10 years. Just under a quarter of that will go towards building the new centre and hiring 80 new high tech employees, while the remaining $327 million will go towards machinery and equipment.