General Electric plans to build yet another new manufacturing facility aimed at advanced manufacturing technologies, representing a $32M investment over three years and creating 50 high-tech engineering jobs.
The company says the facility will include new digital fabrication technology, lean manufacturing methods and rapid-prototyping and advanced materials science development.
"Advanced manufacturing is driving a profound change in industry and at GE. It is how we will compete and win in the future," says Vice Chairman of GE, Dan Heintzelman. "We can more efficiently invent and build products for our customers, while driving better margins for our investors. This new facility is crucial for bringing advanced manufacturing technology to all our businesses."
In the past two years, GE has established new Advanced Manufacturing locations for GE Power & Water in Greenville, SC, for GE Aviation in Asheville, NC, and at GE Oil & Gas in Jacksonville, Fla.
In addition, additive manufacturing work at the company has expanded at GE Aviation in Auburn, Ala. and at GE Aviation in Rutland, Vt.
The site located outside of Pittsburgh in Findlay Township, Pa. was chosen to leverage interactions with academic institutions and the skilled workforce in the area. GE says construction of a 125,000-square foot building at the site will begin during March 2015 and should be complete by September 2015.
The Findlay location will be devoted to additive manufacturing, a term that covers a range of technologies including rapid prototyping, advanced materials development and 3D printing.
GE says the plant is a representation of the company's focus on technology and manufacturing, and added, "marrying hardware with software is bringing a new era of manufacturing."
"By integrating education, workforce training and technology, we are cultivating a renaissance in Pennsylvania manufacturing," said Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett.
According to GE, the facility in Rutland, Vt. – a $75 million investment – has resulted in savings to GE Aviation of more than $300 million in engine production costs for the LEAP jet engine being developed by CFM International, GE and France's Snecma (Safran).
Each of those engines includes 20 nozzles which feature GE's 3D printed interiors designed to make the engine more durable, lighter and fuel efficient. GE says 3D printing allows them to make the nozzle interiors as a single part rather than the 20 individual parts which were previously required by reducing the number of brazes and welds that traditional methods require.