- GE announced plans to acquire additive manufacturing Arcam AB and SLM Solutions Group for $1.4 billion, in an effort to expand its 3D printing, software and product design capabilities.
- The acquisitions align with GE's push to adopt 3D printing capabilities and other manufacturing or additive technologies as standard practice. The company has invested approximately $1.5 billion in the technologies since 2010.
- GE hopes to grow the new additive manufacturing business to $1 billion by 2020, in addition to a $3 billion ot $5 billion product cost cuts across the company over the next 10 years.
3D printing’s growth is not a surprise: the additive technology helps users create intricate designs difficult to produce by subtractive manufacturing processes like machining, in both a fast and accurate way, according to the 2016 MHI Annual Industry Report. In doing so, the technology promises to shift procurement costs by modifying the type and volume of supply required.
The technology can reduce material, tooling, and processing costs, providing a higher quantity potential and lower break even level than its conventional counterparts, according to a graphic from Deloitte University Press.
In addition, a Gartner research report found that 65% of supply chain professionals are using or will invest in 3D printing over the next 2 years as they recognize its ability to augment manufacturing processes. In particular, GE's adoption of 3D printing aligns with the company's push to manufacture specialized products for supply chain applications.