This week GE described how they are rapidly expanding their metal 3D printing capabilities.
GE wasn’t finished by simply scooping up not one, but TWO 3D metal printer manufacturers in the past few months. Both Arcam and Concept Laser are now part of the GE family – and they made a good run at picking up SLM Solutions, too, but the attempt failed when stakeholders made demands unacceptable to GE.
But now with two 3D metal printer manufacturers on the team, everyone wondered what their next step would be. Initially both companies were said to be “continuing as normal”, but that is what is almost always said during an acquisition. In fact, GE has now revealed they intend on expanding, and quickly.
They said they have grown Concept Laser from a staff of 200 at time of acquisition to now 244 people, with intentions of hitting 350 to 400 people in early 2018! That’s doubling their size, specifically in “field service operations” and various kinds of engineers, most notably, “production”.
They’re also “significantly” expanding Concept Laser headquarters in Germany.
There is no word on a similar expansion to Arcam, but as that deal closed later than Concept Laser, it may be coming in the next few months.
This makes sense, as GE has repeatedly demonstrated their interest in the technology. They correctly believe it can be a way to produce better parts more cheaply than ever before, and they seem to be betting a great deal on this premise.
It’s also a way to dramatically step ahead of their competitors, who at this point don’t even have a manufacturer in their group! I think GE is trying to build a huge capability gap in the market where they are far, far ahead.
So far, it seems to be working.
Via GE Additive