May 8, 2017 | By David

Digital industry giant GE is continuing to expand its presence throughout the 3D printing world, with the announcement today that its Center for Additive Technology Advancement (CATA) in Pittsburgh will be developed into a new Customer Experience Center. This is part of a long-term strategy laid out at the start of 2017, as GE Additive and GE Capital are collaborating to increase access to 3D printing across all manufacturing sectors.

For many years, GE has been transforming industry with its huge range of impressive, software-driven manufacturing solutions. 3D printing systems, materials, and consultancy services are all part of its business plan, with approximately $1.5 billion being invested and 346 patents earned so far. Companies in the aerospace, healthcare, energy, and automotive sectors, amongst others, have all benefitted from GE’s products as well as its extensive investment in technological infrastructure.

GE has been advancing 3D printing technology with the gradual construction of a global knowledge network known as the GE Store, identifying the potential of such industry innovators as Concept Laser GmbH and Arcam AB. GE Additive acquired a majority stake in both these companies last year, and its customers now have access to their laser 3D printing technology and other cutting-edge solutions through GE Additive, as well as the necessary finance for the equipment through the customized financial solutions offered by GE Capital.

Since the collaboration between the Additive and Capital businesses was set up at the start of the first quarter of 2017, new financing has been awarded and approved for five companies in four different sectors, totalling around $20 million. According to Dean Massab, vice president of U.S automotive manufacturer Roush, "The ability to work with GE Additive through Concept Laser and leverage their expertise in additive manufacturing, combined with the ability of GE Capital to finance the equipment, makes the GE value proposition very compelling.''

Created in 2016, GE Additive is growing at an exponential rate, and the new Customer Experience Center is just the latest addition. The original CATA was established in April of last year for $39 million, and this new transformation will see the Pittsburgh center’s operations become more externally focused, similar to the Customer Experience Center that was set up in Munich last month. Jennifer Cipolla will retain her position as general manager of the Pittsburgh center.

While its 50 employees will continue to support businesses making use of some of the more established GE Additive technology, the Pittsburgh CEC will also be offering hands-on training and support to newer and potential customers. This will be primarily focused on the use of its most recently acquired equipment: the laser-based 3D printed metal systems offered by Swedish firm Arcam and Concept Laser of Germany. Their systems will be enhanced to further optimize production with the use of GE’s Predix operating platform and Edge devices. Predix enables industrial-scale analytics, and Edge devices offer real-time control and monitoring.

The Pittsburgh CEC is well located to further industry-wide research and development of 3D printing technology. Carnegie Mellon University, the University of Pittsburgh, Robert Morris University, and Penn State University are all nearby and actively engaged in additive manufacturing processes. According to Robert Griggs, general manager of the Customer Experience Centers for GE Additive, ‘’We are thrilled to expand our concept of customer centers in the United States with a facility already at the leading edge of additive technology development.”



Posted in 3D Printer Company



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