GE Additive (NYSE: GE), Concept Laser and Arcam AB have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Oerlikon of Switzerland to collaborate on accelerating the industrialization of additive manufacturing.
The agreement includes the provision of additive machines and services to Oerlikon, while Oerlikon becomes a preferred component manufacturer and materials supplier to GE Additive and its affiliated companies.
Further, GE and Oerlikon will collaborate on additive machine and materials research and development over the five-year period of the agreement. The MoU was announced at the Paris Air Show.
"GE Additive and Oerlikon both understand the transformative power of additive manufacturing," said Mohammad Ehteshami, vice president and general manager of GE Additive. "This is further proof that the adoption rate of additive is growing rapidly and we're proud to partner with Oerlikon."
Among the agreements in the MoU:
- GE Additive and its affiliated companies will be preferred suppliers of additive manufacturing machines to Oerlikon.
- Oerlikon will become a GE Additive preferred component manufacturer and a materials supplier to GE Additive and its affiliated companies.
- Oerlikon and GE Additive will collaborate on machine and materials R&D.
"Developing innovative technology is key to our growth strategy," said Dr. Roland Fischer, CEO of Oerlikon. "We look forward to partnering with GE Additive, Concept Laser and Arcam on innovative materials and machines which will strengthen our position in additive manufacturing, and allows us to meet the growing demand for additive components in a variety of industries."
Additive manufacturing (also called 3D printing) involves taking digital designs from computer aided design (CAD) software, and building them on an additive machine, layer by layer from metal powder. Additive components are typically lighter, more durable and more efficient than traditional casting and forged parts because they can be made as one piece, requiring less welds, joints and assembly. Because additive parts are essentially "grown" from the ground up, they generate far less waste material. Freed of traditional manufacturing restrictions, additive manufacturing dramatically expands the design possibilities for engineers.
For many years, GE has been a leading end user and innovator in the additive manufacturing space. In addition to the $1.4 billion investment in Concept Laser and Arcam, GE has also invested approximately $1.5 billion in manufacturing and additive technologies over the past 10 years, developed additive applications across six GE businesses, created new services applications across the company, and earned 346 patents in material science. In 2016, the company established GE Additive to become a leading supplier of additive technology, materials and services for industries and businesses worldwide.
Oerlikon is an additive manufacturing market leader with deep expertise in advanced materials, production, post processing, and surface solutions. Leveraging its global service network and strong customer relationships across many industries, Oerlikon is well positioned to drive the industrialization of additive manufacturing as an integrated materials and service provider.
In 2016, Oerlikon acquired Citim GMBH to complement its additive production capabilities in Europe and the USA. Oerlikon is also building a state-of-the-art additive manufacturing powder production facility in Plymouth, Michigan (USA); a state-of-the-art R&D and production facility in Charlotte, North Carolina (USA), and a world-class R&D and innovation center in Munich, Germany.
About GE Additive
GE Additive is part of GE (NYSE: GE) the world's Digital Industrial Company, transforming industry with software-defined machines and solutions that are connected, responsive and predictive. GE Additive includes additive machine providers Concept Laser and Arcam EBM; along with additive material provider AP&C and additive service provider to the medical industry, DTI. As a notable user of additive technologies GE recognize the value and potential it brings to modern design and manufacturing. GE is organized around a global exchange of knowledge, the "GE Store," through which each business shares and accesses the same technology, resources and intellect. GE delivers better outcomes for customers by speaking the language of industry. www.geadditive.com
Oerlikon (SIX: OERL) is a leading global technology group with a clear strategy to become a global leader in surface solutions, advanced materials and materials processing. Backed by the key ability to intelligently engineer and process surface solutions and advanced materials, the group is committed to invest in technologies that provide customers with lighter, more durable and efficient, and environmentally sustainable products. A Swiss company with over 100 years of tradition, Oerlikon has a global footprint of over 13,500 employees at more than 180 locations in 37 countries and sales of CHF 2.3 billion in 2016. The company invested CHF 94 million in R&D in 2016 and has over 1,000 specialists developing innovative and customer-oriented products and services.
Rick Kennedy, GE Communications