GE Additive, along with its recently acquired additive manufacturing (AM) firms Concept Laser and Arcam, has signed a memorandum of understanding with global technology group Oerlikon to collaborate on accelerating the industrialisation of additive manufacturing.
In exchange for AM machines and services, Oerlikon will become a preferred AM component manufacturer and a materials supplier for GE Additive and its affiliated entities. Furthermore, GE and Oerlikon will collaborate on AM and materials research and development over the course of the five-year agreement, which was announced at the Paris Air Show at the end of June.
‘GE Additive and Oerlikon both understand the transformative power of additive manufacturing,’ commented vice president and general manager of GE Additive, Mohammad Ehteshami. ‘This is further proof that the adoption rate of additive is growing rapidly and we're proud to partner with Oerlikon.’
‘Developing innovative technology is key to our growth strategy and a distinct advantage of Oerlikon,’ added Oerlikon CEO Dr Roland Fischer. ‘We look forward to partnering with GE Additive, Concept Laser and Arcam on innovative AM materials and machines which will strengthen our position in additive manufacturing, and this allows us to meet the growing demand for additive components in a variety of industries.’
The agreement comes at a time of ongoing investments into additive manufacturing for GE, who established GE Additive in 2016 to become its supplier of additive technology, materials and services. Concept Laser and Arcam were acquired by the company at the end of 2016 for $1.4 billion, having already made $1.5 billion of investments into the sector over the past 10 years in developing additive applications across six of its businesses.
Oerlikon has AM expertise in advanced materials, production, post processing and surface solutions. The company acquired Citim in 2016 to complement its additive production capabilities in Europe and America. Oerlikon is also currently building an AM powder production facility in Plymouth, Michigan; a research and development and production facility in Charlotte, North Carolina, and a research and development and innovation centre in Munich, Germany.
With their global service networks and strong customer relationships across multiple industries, both companies appear to be well positioned to drive the industrialisation of AM in the future.