General Electric has always been about building, growing, and innovating worldwide. Their reach is vast and intertwined with many different entities we never even realize. They are most well-known for their appliances division, but are also involved in the development of lighting and energy management, oil and gas, power and water systems, aviation, and more.
As one of the big guns, GE is known for making breakthroughs, so we will be interested to see what happens as their foray into additive manufacturing begins to pick up steam.
Announced today, GE will build a new manufacturing facility with a nod to the future in mind. It will be constructed with the concept of integrating manufacturing and new technology. The new facility means more jobs, more products, and a boost to manufacturing, especially in Pennsylvania, as the new facility will be just outside of Pittsburgh in Findlay Township. Construction begins next March and should end in the fall.
It’s no surprise that GE is making a big move in recognizing a major shift in manufacturing, but it certainly adds great validity and strength to the revolution going on currently, and mainly in additive manufacturing, said to change the face of the industry.
Currently, GE is employing 3D printing in their aerospace division by printing fuel nozzle interiors for the next-generation LEAP jet engines (in development with CFM International, a 50/50 joint company of GE and France’s Snecma – Safran). Each engine has 20 nozzles, and GE’s 3D printed interiors allow them to be made in one piece, rather than 20, affording the engines greater durability, lighter weight, and better fuel efficiency.
With $32 million being fed into building of the new facility over the next three years, GE will be creating an initial base of 50 new jobs for individuals with careers based in high-tech engineering. These new employees will join the existing PA workforce of 8,500 individuals who currently work in GE areas of:
- Power and Water
- Oil and Gas
- Energy Management
While the company is already involved in additive manufacturing, the facility marks a substantial commitment to the technology as a whole, as their new facility is being developed to focus on the uses of 3D printing, as well as improving it.
”Advanced manufacturing is driving a profound change in industry and at GE. It is how we will compete and win in the future. We can more efficiently invent and build products for our customers, while driving better margins for our investors. This new facility is crucial for bringing advanced manufacturing technology to all our businesses,” said Dan Heintzelman, GE vice chairman.
The influx of more GE ‘power’ into Pennsylvania is certainly not lost on the state, as the company makes certain to strategically place their facility near a dense population of academically inclined and highly skilled workers.
Governor Tom Corbett said, “By integrating education, workforce training and technology, we are cultivating a renaissance in Pennsylvania manufacturing. I am proud of the economic environment we have created to encourage global companies like GE to invest in our future and in our skilled and talented workers. The 50 high-tech jobs GE is creating with this project is terrific news for hard working families in southwest Pennsylvania.”
What impact do you think GE will have on 3D printing? Share your thoughts with us in the GE Manufacturing forum at 3DPB.com.