Additive Manufacturing Helps Mold a New Future for Factories

Additive Manufacturing Helps Mold a New Future for Factories
March 29, 2017 at 02:03pm

Ever since people in the Middle East began heating rocks and metals to make copper, bronze and iron, pouring liquid metal into molds, or hammering it into shapes has been the primary means of making metal objects. Additive manufacturing is about to change all that.

Also known as 3D printing, additive manufacturing uses lasers and electron beams to melt metal, polymer or plastics powders in a layer-by-layer manner to create almost any shape. These machines can quickly transform a computer design into an incredibly strong part much more quickly than a conventional factory or manufacturing process.

The implications for industry are huge. Additive manufacturing allows for faster production, greater production flexibility, the ability to create complex parts that once were impossible to produce, and a new range of design opportunities, with application in industries as diverse as aerospace, power, automotive, medical and architecture.

Additive components are typically lighter and more durable than traditional forged parts because they require less welding and machining.

Mohamed Ehteshami, Vice President of GE Additive, is addressing the potential of additive manufacturing as a panel participant during the second day of the Global Manufacturing and Industrialisation Summit (GMIS). During a keynote panel called “On the edge of technological convergence,” he is talking with other panelists about the digitization of the manufacturing process, something that includes additive manufacturing.

He is drawing on GE’s years-long experience with additive manufacturing that began with aircraft engine manufacturing – in particular fuel nozzles for the CFM LEAP engine – and is expanding to other GE businesses, such as GE Energy and GE Oil and Gas.

As well, GE Additive is offering customers innovative machines – including laser and electron beam technology, materials, and engineering consulting services. In 2016, GE Additive acquired controlling ownership of two world-leading additive manufacturing providers – Concept Laser GmbH of Germany and Arcam AB of Sweden – and is aggressively investing in their capabilities.

As announced yesterday, Mubadala Investment Company, the strategic investment company of the government of Abu Dhabi, and the Dubai Future Foundation are teaming up with GE Additive to establish a Microfactory focused on additive manufacturing in Abu Dhabi that will feature technologies from Concept Laser GmbH and Arcam AB, in addition to one later in Dubai that will focus on the consumer segments.

GMIS is a joint initiative of the UAE Ministry of Economy and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), and is co-hosted with the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development. GE is a founding partner of the Summit.

The Summit is welcoming delegates, including heads of state, government leaders, ministers, policy makers and senior executives from Global 2000 companies.

Ever since people in the Middle East began heating rocks and metals to make copper, bronze and iron, pouring liquid metal into molds, or hammering it into shapes has been the primary means of making metal objects. Additive manufacturing is about to change all that.

Also known as 3D printing, additive manufacturing uses lasers and electron beams to melt metal, polymer or plastics powders in a layer-by-layer manner to create almost any shape. These machines can quickly transform a computer design into an incredibly strong part much more quickly than a conventional factory or manufacturing process.

The implications for industry are huge. Additive manufacturing allows for faster production, greater production flexibility, the ability to create complex parts that once were impossible to produce, and a new range of design opportunities, with application in industries as diverse as aerospace, power, automotive, medical and architecture.

Additive components are typically lighter and more durable than traditional forged parts because they require less welding and machining.

Mohamed Ehteshami, Vice President of GE Additive, is addressing the potential of additive manufacturing as a panel participant during the second day of the Global Manufacturing and Industrialisation Summit (GMIS). During a keynote panel called “On the edge of technological convergence,” he is talking with other panelists about the digitization of the manufacturing process, something that includes additive manufacturing.

He is drawing on GE’s years-long experience with additive manufacturing that began with aircraft engine manufacturing – in particular fuel nozzles for the CFM LEAP engine – and is expanding to other GE businesses, such as GE Energy and GE Oil and Gas.

As well, GE Additive is offering customers innovative machines – including laser and electron beam technology, materials, and engineering consulting services. In 2016, GE Additive acquired controlling ownership of two world-leading additive manufacturing providers – Concept Laser GmbH of Germany and Arcam AB of Sweden – and is aggressively investing in their capabilities.

As announced yesterday, Mubadala Investment Company, the strategic investment company of the government of Abu Dhabi, and the Dubai Future Foundation are teaming up with GE Additive to establish a Microfactory focused on additive manufacturing in Abu Dhabi that will feature technologies from Concept Laser GmbH and Arcam AB, in addition to one later in Dubai that will focus on the consumer segments.

GMIS is a joint initiative of the UAE Ministry of Economy and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), and is co-hosted with the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development. GE is a founding partner of the Summit.

The Summit is welcoming delegates, including heads of state, government leaders, ministers, policy makers and senior executives from Global 2000 companies.

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