GE Aviation to expand Auburn facility with advanced 3D printing - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

GE Aviation to expand Auburn facility with advanced 3D printing operation

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David Joyce, president and CEO, GE Aviation; Greg Morris, senior executive for Additive Manufacturing for GE; Alabama Governor Robert Bentley, and Colleen Athans, vice president and GM of Supply Chain Operations, GE Aviation. David Joyce, president and CEO, GE Aviation; Greg Morris, senior executive for Additive Manufacturing for GE; Alabama Governor Robert Bentley, and Colleen Athans, vice president and GM of Supply Chain Operations, GE Aviation.
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AUBURN, AL (WTVM) -

GE Aviation announced Tuesday, July 15, that they are expanding their program by bringing an advanced technology manufacturing operation to Auburn, Ala.

The Auburn GE facility will be the first of its kind to mass produce additive components for the jet propulsion industry, also known at 3D printing.

Unlike traditional manufacturing methods that mill or cut away from a slab of metal to produce a part, 3D printing "grows" parts directly from a CAD file using layers of fine metal powder and an electron beam or laser. The result is complex, fully dense parts without the waste, manufactured in a fraction of the time it would take using other methods.

"GE Aviation's decision to launch a 3D printing initiative at its Auburn plant speaks volumes about the ability of an Alabama workforce to carry out cutting-edge manufacturing. This is tomorrow's technology, and we are proud to say it will be performed right here in Alabama," said Governor Bentley.

GE will invest $50M in the existing 300,000 sq. ft. facility to prepare for the additional work. Upon completion, GE investment will total more than $125M since 2011.

Equipment installation will begin in late 2014 and production of additive components will begin in 2015. By the end of 2015, the plant could have as many as 10 printing machines with the potential to grow to more than 50 printers and occupy a third of the facility at full capacity.

The facility will also continue to manufacture precision, super-alloy machined parts for jet engines.

GE has hired more than 70 people since opening the Auburn facility in April of 2013. The additional work will accelerate hiring, and based on current demand for its jet engines, the company expects to hire 300 people when the plant is at full ramp-up in the coming years.

GE also plans to partner with local universities and community colleges to prepare for this new work. The facility will continue its partnership with Alabama Industrial Development Training (AIDT) and Southern Union State Community College (SUSCC) for pre-employment training programs. GE has also worked with Auburn University and Tuskegee University to create internship and co-op opportunities for students.

"This investment is a testament to GE's commitment to this advanced technology. The Auburn team will play a vital role in the next-generation of aircraft engines, and we're proud to be a part of it" said Joe Markiewicz, plant leader at Auburn.

For more information on how to apply for these new jobs, visit https://www.ge.com/careers.

Copyright 2014 WTVM. All rights reserved.

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