FARNBOROUGH, England -- GE Additive's AddWorks team has been selected by Honda's Aircraft Engine Research and Development Center to provide consultative services, with the goal of accelerating applications of additive manufacturing in the aerospace sector.
The agreement, announced during the Farnborough International Airshow, builds on the companies' existing relationship, which includes the joint venture GE Honda Aero Engines LLC. Since its establishment in 2004, the collaboration has led to the development of the highly successful GE Honda HF120 jet engine.
GE's AddWorks group will now help determine if additive manufacturing could provide economic benefits for the group, while also scoping its potential for the industry at-large.
"We are pleased that Honda Aircraft Engine R&D Center has selected GE Additive to be its vendor in providing AddWorks consulting services to further the use of this transformative technology in its future generation aircraft engines," said Thomas Pang, director of GE Additive in Japan. "We are in the best position to share our learnings from our own additive journey, having started from prototyping to successfully applying it to mass production for aviation engine parts."
GE additive, which established operations in Japan in January, said it plans to be a billion-dollar business by 2020, with a strategy to sell 10,000 machines by 2026.
Also at Farnborough
GE Additive also used the airshow to launch what it calls its "Manufacturing Partner Network", alongside a strategic alignment of its powder production technologies to meet a growing need for titanium and nickel-based alloys.
Amongst GE's first manufacturing partners are Burloak Technologies, Carpenter Co. and Proto Labs Inc. These companies will help customers make additive parts in volume, GE said, as supply chains are still being established.
The potential for additive manufacturing is significant, however, with a recent report from analyst group SmarTech Publishing said additive manufacturing investments could account for more than US$280 billion over the next decade.
"Today, additive is already achieving amazing things, but we need to keep educating on its potential and demystify any concerns to maintain healthy levels of investment and create ecosystems to help everyone on the path from prototyping to production," said Jason Oliver, President and CEO of GE Additive.