GE (NYSE: GE) has announced that it has selected a new CEO for GE Additive, Alexander Schmitz, who will initiate the position on January 16, 2023. Schmitz will report to the current chief executive, Riccardo Procacci, who will begin an expanded leadership role at GE Aerospace.
Upon graduating from Aachen University in Germany, Schmitz began a career that included holding senior leadership and engineering positions over the course of 20 years at Bosch. Most recently, Schmitz was the CEO of FlexLink, a Swedish company dedicated to automated production and material flow solutions.
“I’m thrilled to be joining GE Additive as it starts its next phase of growth and transformation. I look forward to meeting the team and our customers in the new year,” said Alexander Schmitz.
GE is in the process of splitting its operations into three publicly traded businesses: GE Aerospace, GE Vernova, and GE Healthcare. GE Additive will remain with GE Aerospace, headed by Procacci, alongside three other divisions: Avio Aero, Dowty Propellers, and Unison Industries
“GE Additive continues to be a strategic business for GE Aerospace,” said Riccardo Procacci. “I look forward to working with Alexander and continuing to work with the GE Additive leadership team and our customers as they deploy additive, at scale, across their businesses and industries.”
As GE Additive focused a great deal of energy and resources on the development of its large-scale metal binder jet system, other areas of the business may not have gotten the same attention. Schmitz’s background is an interesting one as he takes over the division. The €78.74 billion Bosch is increasingly involved in additive and may be using it internally to a degree far larger than has been made public, so it’s possible that Schmitz has some familiarity with these operations. At the very least, he’s familiar with what it takes to run divisions of the manufacturing giant that is Bosch.
FlexLink is also an intriguing detail because of the company’s focus on conveyance and automation. As anyone who went to Formnext 2023 knows, the trend in AM at the moment is automation. This trend is discussed in greater detail in SmarTech’s report “Automation, Additive Manufacturing and the Factory of the Future.” Industrial robotic arms and conveyor belts demonstrated the direction the industry is taking. If Schmitz is able to combine his experience from Bosch and FlexLink at GE Additive, we could finally see the realization of GE Concept Laser’s Factory of Tomorrow, in which 3D printers are integrated into a highly automated factory environment.
3DPrint.com and SmarTech Analysis are hosting Additive Manufacturing Strategies in New York City on February 7-9, 2023. Register for the event here to learn from and network with the most exciting companies and individuals in AM.
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