GE Additive, which is attending the Farnborough International Airshow this week, has been busily dropping announcements from the trade fair, the latest of which is centered around its AddWorks additive consulting service provider. GE Additive and AddWorks were chosen by the Honda R&D Co., Ltd, Aircraft Engine R&D Center in Japan to help increase the development of 3D printed aerospace applications for its future generation aircraft engines.
SmarTech Publishing stated that over $280 billion will be invested in additive manufacturing over the next decade, and GE Additive wants in. Last spring, the company announced that it would be increasing its focus on additive manufacturing, planning to sell 10,000 3D printers by 2026 and become a $1 billion business by 2020. This announcement was followed by setting up operations in Japan this winter, and announcing that more commercial offerings would be available last month. Now, it’s continuing to increase its commercial efforts in Japan by focusing on important industries like automotive and aerospace.
“We are pleased that Honda Aircraft Engine R&D Center has selected GE Additive to be its vendor in providing AddWorks consulting services to further the use of this transformative technology in its future generation aircraft engines,” said Thomas Pang, the Director of GE Additive in Japan. “We are in the best position to share our learnings from our own additive journey, having started from prototyping to successfully applying it to mass production for aviation engine parts.”
GE and Honda have been partnering together in the aviation industry for over ten years, first setting up the joint venture GE Honda Aero Engines LLC in 2004 between Honda Aero and GE Aviation, and then creating the GE Honda HF120 jet engine for use on lighter business jet aircraft like the successful HondaJet – the most delivered in its category last year.
To assist customers in adding 3D printing to their business workflows, GE Additive provides materials, 3D printers, and the engineering consultancy services of AddWorks; these consultants use their AM expertise to help clients figure out if adopting 3D printing will be beneficial in terms of performance and cost. GE Additive is hopeful that AddWorks will help Honda Aircraft Engine R&D Center, and ultimately lead to further growth of its partnership with the company and increased AM adoption in aerospace.
At its Japan location, GE Additive will sell Concept Laser and Arcam EBM 3D printers, along with materials, both directly and through local resellers to customers in the country that focus on heavy industry, automotive, and aerospace.
In addition to the partnership with Honda, Pennsylvania-headquartered Triumph Group, a leader in the aerospace industry, is working to further its own AM strategy by selecting two of GE Additive’s 3D printers and a variety of AddWorks design and engineering consultancy service packages. Triumph hopes that these new additions will help to support both its commercial objectives and its R&D initiatives.
“I really admire Triumph’s smart and progressive strategy in adopting a multimodality approach to their additive journey. And when you add to that the deep experience and divergent thinking of our AddWork’s team, I look forward to seeing the results of what I hope will be a long and rewarding relationship,” said Jason Oliver, the President and CEO of GE Additive.
Triumph works in all levels of the aerospace supply chain, ranging from single components and complex systems to aerospace structures, in order to offer solutions for an aircraft’s entire product life cycle. The company enjoys a competitive advantage over similar businesses thanks to its ability to integrate several capabilities and products.
The aerospace company chose an M2 Cusing Multilaser DMLM system from Concept Laser, as well as an Arcam EBM Q20plus system, both of which should be fully installed at its Seattle R&D facility within Q3 of 2018.
“Triumph Group is excited to work with GE Additive to broaden Triumph’s utilization of additive manufacturing technology. Thus far we have successfully used additive manufacturing for prototyping, and we are rapidly growing its use for design competency,” said Dan Crowley, the President and CEO of Triumph Group. “This partnership with GE Additive will strengthen our additive manufacturing capability, accelerating our ability to design and develop future on-wing solutions for our customers.”
Right from the beginning, GE Additive’s AddWorks team will work with Triumph in multiple areas, such as advising on prototyping strategies, discovery workshops, and materials selection.
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