GE Additive has launched a new Manufacturing Partner Network (MPN) with the aim of creating an open, competitive marketplace to accelerate both supply and demand for Additive Manufacturing. The network will consist of manufacturing partners specifically chosen to help customers who are ready to progress into volume production of AM parts. The first three companies to join the network were announced at the 2018 Farnborough International Airshow as Burloak Technologies, Carpenter Technology and Protolabs Inc.
GE Additive believes that as companies become ready to make the move into volume production they are looking for cost-efficient, scalable routes. However, limited access to equipment, funding to invest and expertise often prevents them from taking the next critical steps. Additive Manufacturing suppliers are also seeking demand to build long-term business cases in order to invest, while OEMs need a guaranteed source of capacity, so they can continue to invest with confidence.
“We know first hand that the transition from prototyping to volume production is possibly the biggest step on any company’s additive journey and that can be daunting. The MPN is designed to give companies a range of options to help them progress and continue innovating by connecting them with a choice of trusted additive production partners to give them peace of mind, in a cost-efficient way, “ stated Jason Oliver, President & CEO, GE Additive.
The MPN will add additional manufacturing partners in all regions, but by design will remain a select group of Additive Manufacturing specialists who all understand the capabilities and future of this technology. Manufacturing partners will also benefit commercially in three areas:
Direct demand generation through a network of OEMs and revenue opportunities generated by GE Additive’s sales teams.
Knowledge sharing across the network. This includes access to over 150 AddWorksTM consultants and technical support. New GE Additive technologies and innovation will be made available to MPs for testing and feedback shared will be incorporated into future product development.
Co-marketing support and campaigns, including permission to use the GE monogram on all sales, marketing and promotional materials, communications channels and buildings.
Carpenter Technology Corporation
Carpenter Technology Corporation is a recognised leader in high-performance alloy-based materials and process solutions for critical applications in the aerospace, defence, transportation, energy, industrial, medical, and consumer electronics markets. “We are pleased to further our long-standing relationship with GE by entering into this important AM partnership as we help accelerate the advancement of AM across industries,” stated Tony R Thene, Carpenter’s Chief Executive Officer. “Partnering with an industry leader such as GE is an excellent opportunity for Carpenter to further advance our AM capabilities and network to bring highly differentiated AM business solutions to its customers and partners.”
Burloak Technologies is said to be Canada’s leading supplier of highly engineered additive manufactured components for demanding applications. “Burloak Technologies is proud to be a launch partner for GE’s Manufacturing Partner Network,” added Peter Adams, Co-founder and President of Burloak Technologies. “We have developed a strategic plan for the industrialisation of Additive Manufacturing. Our participation in GE’s MPN strengthens this plan and will allow us to accelerate the the adoption of Additive Manufacturing in the market.”
Protolabs is a manufacturer of custom prototypes and on-demand production parts, with manufacturing facilities in five countries. “We take pride in having been in the Additive Manufacturing industry for nearly 20 years, and we are excited to partner with GE Additive to further advance and democratise access to industrial-grade Additive Manufacturing technologies and materials,” stated Vicki Holt, President and CEO, Protolabs.
GE Additive’s Customer Experience Centers in Munich and Pittsburg will continue to support customers with prototyping and low volume production, but will act as a bridge to the MPN, which is seen as a natural extension for those customers ready to take the next step.