In its continuing operation to industrialise additive manufacturing, GE Additive has signed a memorandum of understanding with UK engineering group GKN to collaborate on part development projects on powder bed machines.
GKN will receive additive machines and services from GE Additive, and will become one of the firm’s certified GE Additive Production Partners. In return GKN will become a non-exclusive preferred AM powder supplier to GE Additive and its affiliated companies.
‘GE Additive and GKN both understand the transformative power that additive manufacturing will have in the aerospace and automotive industries,’ said vice president and general manager of GE Additive, Mohammad Ehteshami. ‘Additive machines from Concept Laser and Arcam will bring tremendous value to this GKN relationship and we look forward to collaborating more closely in the future.’
GKN is a global engineering group, operating from more than 150 manufacturing locations in over 30 countries producing aerospace and automotive components As a whole the group generated £678 million management profit (before tax) last year, with its automotive and aerospace sectors boasting sales of £3.4 billion and £4.2 billion respectively last year.
‘We look forward to working with GE Additive on this revolutionary technology,’ said Jos Sclater, head of strategy at GKN. ‘GKN has a strong history of producing and certifying AM parts and powder, and by working together, GKN and GE can accelerate future developments in additive manufacturing and meet the growing demand we’re seeing across a range of industries.’
The signing follows GE Additive’s decision to certify several companies as additive production centres, with each centre gaining access to components and services from GE Additive’s company portfolio, including Concept Laser and Arcam, who were acquired by GE Additive last year. Back in June GE Additive also signed an MoU with global technology group Oerlikon at the Paris Air Show to collaborate on additive manufacturing.
A letter of intent was also recently signed between GE Additive’s Concept Laser and French aeronautical company LAUAK to launch an alliance between the two entities that will see LAUAK invest in Concept Laser’s additive machines and receive support implementing additive processes and designing new products.
GE Additive was established last year to become GE’s supplier of additive technology, materials and services. In addition to the $1.4 billion invested in Concept Laser and Arcam, GE has also invested approximately $1.5 billion in manufacturing and additive technologies over the past 10 years, developing additive applications across six of its businesses.