Apr 25, 2017 | By Julia

General Electric (GE) is continuing to focus its gaze squarely on the EU 3D printing industry, with a game-changing investment of 100 million euros ($109 million USD) into a newly acquired production site in Lichtenfels, Germany.

Just last year, the multinational producer of jet engines, power plants, and other industrial equipment poured a total of $1.3 billion into Concept Laser, a privately held German 3D printing firm, and Swedish 3D printer-manufacturer Arcam. The strategic move secured GE majority shares in both companies, cementing its position as a global leading player in additive manufacturing.

Now, GE has continued to beef up that investment both financially and symbolically, with an additional 100 million euros invested in Concept Laser’s new Bavarian site. The number of employees is now expected to rise from 200 to 300 by the end of this year.

The new developments certainly put GE on the 3D printing map in a major new way. As of now, the industrial producer currently has a firm grasp on powder and electron-beam additive manufacturing, two of the five principal 3D printing technologies. And according to GE Additive Chief Mohammad Ehteshami, the company has no interest in slowing down. “Our goal is to get into all of the [five],” Ehteshami told Reuters.

When asked whether this goal could be achieved through solely organic growth, Ehteshami responded: “We are always studying organic and inorganic possibilities... Strategically, there are inorganic plays we would not be smart not to do."

With GE already 3D printing several of its aircraft parts, the company is now aiming to separate its additive manufacturing division from GE aviation, with plans to transform it into a $1 billion external sales business by 2020.

"I have a belief that you'll be able to print the whole jet engine," Ehteshami told reporters at the Hannover Messe industrial trade conference.

Ehteshami confirmed that GE has invested about $1.5 billion in 3D printing technologies over the past decade excluding last year’s acquisitions, which almost match those figures, doubling the group’s total investment in 3D printing.

In addition to developing the newly acquired Concept laser site, GE has also announced plans for a new 3D printing customer training and support centre in Munich, worth 15 million euros. The first of several worldwide, the centre would serve to gain greater exposure for additive manufacturing, as well as GE’s considerable stakes in the industry.

GE will continue to be on the lookout for more acquisitions opportunities, said Ehteshami.



Posted in 3D Printer Company



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