Connecting Industries Worldwide

GE Additive opens Customer Experience Centre in Munich

GE Additive has celebrated the opening of its first international Customer Experience Centre in Munich. The new 2,700m² centre, co-located with GE’s European Technology Centre, allows current and potential customers to experience every aspect of the additive manufacturing process from design to prototyping to operations.

Mohammad Ehteshami, Vice President and General Manager GE Additive, and thought-leaders from business, politics, technology and academia gathered for the Grand Opening and discussed the potential that additive manufacturing will bring to business and industries.

GE Additive’s Customer Experience Centres are designed to help customers understand the additive process; from design to prototyping to production and guide them along the way. Customers benefit from hands-on training and instruction at the facility, covering additive design, machine operations and support.

The Customer Experience Centre in Munich, launched with an investment of $15 million, will employ up to 50 GE Additive employees, including technicians and engineers specialising in additive design and production. Ten additive machines from Germany’s Concept Laser and Sweden’s Arcam EBM have been installed. The Centre serves as an enabler for customers to accelerate the adoption of additive in their business, regardless of where they are on their additive journey.

The facility enables customers to start with a concept, design and build a prototype, and then move all the way through production while enabling them to think through industrialising processes and helping improve their products and supply chain.

The Munich Centre also offers a modern educational facility for their Additive Academy™ – GE Additive’s customer training team. All customers are welcome to visit the Centre to collaborate with the local team on additive design, process development, prototyping and industrialising their additive operations.

There are several ways that customers can interact with the Customer Experience Centre in Munich. They can have access to use the latest metal additive machines (DMLM and EBM); collaborate with GE’s additive experts on product identification; design, material selection and on additive facility setup; build prototypes and see designs come to life; build multiple parts and develop operations process prior to full-rate production; receive training from the GE team of additive experts in all aspects of additive manufacturing; and have access to GE’s team who can provide field service knowledge, spares and operational support to customers.

More than 150 guest and dignitaries from business, politics and academia came to Munich for the opening and got a chance to tour the facility after a ribbon cutting. Guests also heard from different speakers, including representatives from BMW and Oerlikon, on how they see the future of additive manufacturing.

“The opening of our Customer Experience Centre here in Munich marks a great milestone for us,” said Robert Griggs, Customer Success Leader at GE Additive. “Germany is the global innovation hub for additive manufacturing. Right here, at the heart of the additive revolution, the Centre will operate as the interface between customers and our teams, combining the strengths of Germany’s Concept Laser and Sweden’s Arcam, both leading providers of additive machines and services. We look forward to working closely with European companies and institutes, allowing them to fully realise the transformative potential that additive design and manufacturing can bring. We’re excited about the types of products they will design and the improvements they can make to their operations using additive.”

GE Additive continues to grow its global infrastructure – as evidenced by the new Munich Centre, as well as by its on-going expansion of the Concept Laser headquarters in Lichtenfels.
The concept of GE Additive’s Customer Experience Centres is an integral part of GE Additive’s strategy to accelerate the adoption rate of additive manufacturing with businesses worldwide, allowing customers to experience first-hand the value that additive manufacturing can bring.

After the first U.S.-based Customer Experience Centre in Pittsburgh became part of the GE Additive family in May 2017, Munich is now the first international Centre – with other GE Additive Centres planned worldwide to boost the use of additive manufacturing in different regions.

Additive manufacturing involves taking a digital design from computer-aided design (CAD) software and melting/sintering together in a layer-by-layer manner, using a laser or an electron beam as the energy source. Additive components are typically lighter and more durable than traditional forged parts because they require less welding and machining. Since additive parts are essentially “grown” from the ground up, they generate far less scrap material. Freed of traditional manufacturing restrictions, additive manufacturing (3D printing) drastically expands the design possibilities for engineers – and allows them to produce better products.