GE Additive and the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) announced the formation of a metal Binder Jet public-private partnership, as part of a broader effort to further position Indiana’s manufacturing sector for long-term growth.
Collaborative Approach to Innovation
“We’re excited by the opportunity presented to us by IEDC,” said GE Additive Chief Technology Officer Christine Furstoss. “Binder Jet is one of the most dynamic areas within additive manufacturing today, and one that the automotive and mobility industry in particular is watching closely.”
“Given Indiana’s strong automotive manufacturing focus, we have high hopes that this partnership will tap into its abundant seam of innovation and spark new forward-thinking applications – especially in field of automation and software development,” she added.
Indiana is a leader in manufacturing, with 8,500 manufacturing facilities and the highest concentration of manufacturing jobs in the nation. With more than 500 automotive suppliers and five original equipment manufacturer (OEM) companies, Indiana supports the second largest automotive sector by GDP in the U.S., producing more than 1.3 million cars and light trucks annually.
Building a Broad, Flexible, Factory Ecosystem
GE Additive’s Binder Jet beta partner program continues to gain momentum. Six global technology and automotive sector players are already partnering with GE Additive teams in Cincinnati to commercialize its Binder Jet technology.
“Collaboration with industry sits at the very core of our strategy,” said GE Additive Innovation Leader Josh Mook. “We deliberately set out to identify a select group of strategic partners that could help us develop a real-world solution. It’s critically important that when we bring our solution to market next year it can deliver value from day one. Our beta partnership program is already paying dividends in many ways. Now, we’re now looking to extend that industry collaboration. Through the R&D partnership with the state, we’ll create a test bed to work with partners, customers, startups and SMEs in Indiana and further afield to develop additive-centric innovation and real-world solutions.”
The IEDC board of directors recently approved $3 million under its Economic Activity Stabilization and Enhancement initiative to establish the new Emerging Manufacturing Collaboration Center (EMC2). This facility will provide a physical space where state-of-the-art equipment will be available to new and existing Indiana manufacturers to train employees, perform contract manufacturing and raise awareness of new products and software.
The new facility, Emerging Manufacturing Collaboration Center (EMC2), will be located at the 16 Tech Innovation District and is expected to open by summer 2021. 16 Tech is a 50-acre live-work-innovate community focused on bringing together entrepreneurs, academics, startups, corporations and creatives in a single place to spark the exchange of ideas that leads to innovation.
EMC2 will allow new and existing manufacturers to utilize state-of-the-art equipment, including GE Additive’s Binder Jet technology, to train employees, conduct third-party pilot manufacturing and increase awareness of products and software applications. Additionally, GE Additive will extend its Binder Jet Beta program at the facility, collaborating with Indiana businesses and industry and academic partners to fuel Binder Jet-enabled R&D in additive manufacturing, factory automation, advanced software development and manufacturing readiness.“We’re excited by the opportunity presented to us by the state of Indiana,” said GE Additive Chief Technology Officer Christine Furstoss. “Binder jet is one of the most dynamic areas within additive manufacturing today, and one that the automotive and mobility industry in particular is watching closely. Given Indiana’s strong automotive manufacturing focus, we have high hopes that this partnership will tap into its abundant seam of innovation and spark new forward-thinking applications – especially in fields of automation and software development.”
Working closely with the IEDC to invest in Binder Jet and software technology, as well as driving innovation in key industry supply chains, GE Additive will make use of the new EMC2 as a physical focal point for the initiative.
“With our Binder Jet solution we have created a highly capable, expandable system,” said Mook. “We will use this partnership with the IEDC to build a broad, flexible, factory ecosystem to cover powder to part, including the recycling chain. Our system is able to support the wide range of companies that we will participate in the ecosystem and we have designed it to be easily plugged into.”
Driving Economic Benefit
Every day, Indiana manufacturers are developing safe, reliable and innovative products that help power the world,” said Indiana Secretary of Commerce Jim Schellinger. “As new trends and technologies change the state of today’s manufacturing industry, Indiana is focused on partnering with forward-thinking organizations like GE Additive and advancing strategic initiatives to propel long-term growth in manufacturing and equip Hoosiers with the industry-focused skills and training needed for the future.”
GE Additive and IEDC will arrange a virtual industry day on December 8 to kick-off the initiative, and to elaborate on potential projects that ensure broad technology and economic benefit to Indiana and wider U.S. manufacturing competitiveness.
Participants will also hear from Binder Jet experts, see latest demos of GE Additive’s Binder Jet technology and participate in technical workshops with GE Additive’s team of experts and external sector specialists.
Details will be made available shortly, including requests for proposals and funding opportunities. Eligible delegates will include companies of all sizes, software developers, manufacturing equipment developers, as well as end-users.