Governor Kay Ivey announced Wednesday that GE Aviation has plans to invest $50 million into expanding the additive manufacturing operation at its facility in Auburn, which is the first site to mass produce a jet component using 3-D printing technology for the aerospace industry.
“GE Aviation is at the leading edge of advanced aerospace additive manufacturing, and the company’s expansion plans at the Auburn facility will strengthen its technology leadership position,” Ivey stated, via Made in Alabama. “We look forward to seeing where the great partnership between Alabama and GE Aviation will take us both in an exciting future.”
As a part of the project, GE Aviation will reportedly create 60 jobs and place new additive production machines in Auburn, which will allow the factory to begin greater production of a second engine part by implementing the additive process.
The expansion will allow the Auburn facility to mass produce a 3-D printed bracket for the GEnx-2B engine program.
“We’re very excited for this new investment in our additive manufacturing operation here in Auburn,” said GE Aviation’s Auburn plant leader, Ricardo Acevedo.
He added, “Our success thus far is a testament to all the hard-working folks at this facility who are leading the way in advanced manufacturing. The future here is bright, and we’re glad to have such great support from the Auburn community and the state of Alabama.”
Instead of taking the more traditional route to produce a part, additive manufacturing uses a CAD file to grow parts by using layers of metal powder and an electron beam. It is a much quicker process and allows for more product with less waste.
“Additive manufacturing technologies are revolutionizing how products are being made in many industries, and GE Aviation is helping to drive that revolution in aerospace,” said Alabama Department of Commerce Secretary Greg Canfield.
He added, “We welcome GE’s decision to expand AM activities in Auburn because this will solidify the Alabama facility’s position as a hub for next-generation manufacturing techniques.”
Before today’s expansion announcement, the Auburn facility was set to employ an estimated 300 people in 2019.
“We’re grateful for GE’s continued investment in our community, and we are proud to be the home of GE Aviation’s leading additive manufacturing facility,” said Auburn Mayor Ron Anders. “For years, Auburn has sought after technology-based industries, and this expansion is evidence of the value in that.
Kyle Morris also contributes daily to Breitbart News. You can follow him on Twitter @RealKyleMorris.