GE Additive (Boston, MA), Concept Laser (Lichtenfels, Germany), and Arcam (Mölndal, Sweden) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Oerlikon (Pfäffikon, 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. Agreements in the MoU include:
- 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; and
- Oerlikon and GE Additive will collaborate on machine and materials R&D.
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 an 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 supplier of additive technology, materials, and services for industries and businesses worldwide.
Oerlikon has 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 (Barleben, Germany) to complement its additive production capabilities in Europe and the US Oerlikon is also building an additive manufacturing powder production facility in Plymouth, MI; a R&D and production facility in Charlotte, NC; and a R&D and innovation center in Munich, Germany.