GE Additive has been awarded a contract by General Dynamics Land Systems, a division of General Dynamics, located in Sterling Heights, Michigan, USA, for the qualification, production, post-processing and inspection of metal additively manufactured components. General Dynamics Land Systems is reportedly developing applications for Additive Manufacturing on its combat vehicle platforms and has chosen GE Additive to help accelerate incorporation; the companies are currently working together to identify applications in which Additive Manufacturing can provide value through weight reduction, performance optimisation and lead time reduction.
According to General Dynamics, it recently worked with GE Additive to transition a titanium cable guard to production in order to replace an 18-piece welded steel component, yielding an 85% weight saving compared with the existing part. The cable guard will reportedly be the first additively manufactured metal production part on a US ground combat vehicle.
Teams from General Dynamics and GE Additive are expected to focus on detailed process development activities to ensure a seamless transition from prototype to production. This will involve creating a standardised build plate orientation, as well as support structures and quality control plans, to deliver an efficient and repeatable production process.
The companies stated that the cable guards will be additively manufactured for production on GE Additive’s Arcam EBM Q20plus systems, which are reportedly well suited to titanium alloys because the process takes place in a vacuum at elevated temperatures, eliminating residual stress and providing superior material properties.
“General Dynamics is always looking for innovative technologies to enhance our products, and Additive Manufacturing holds real promise in the near term. We’ll continue teaming with leading suppliers such as GE Additive as we uncover additional applications for this exciting technology,” stated Jason Deters, a specialist in Process & Technology Development at General Dynamics.
Bill Vanslembrouck, a specialist in Advanced Products & Technology at General Dynamics, commented, “The GE Additive team has been a great partner during this transition, and we’ve benefited from their expertise on the specific design and qualification requirements for additively manufactured production components.”
“We’re honoured to be working with General Dynamics at this important inflection point in its additive strategy. My team excels at getting organisations from prototype to production as efficiently as possible,” reported Chris Schuppe, General Manager at GE Additive AddWorks. “To do that, we add value by keeping the business case front of mind, building on our additive production experience and offering our customers multiple technology modalities.”