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GE Aerospace invests over $700 million to expand manufacturing

A significant part of the funds will go to expand its AM capabilities in the US and Europe

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GE Aerospace will invest $650 million in its US-based manufacturing facilities and supply chain this year to increase production and strengthen quality to support its commercial and defense customers better. The company’s investment strategy also allocates €64 million ($70 million) into its manufacturing facilities across Europe this year to produce more efficient commercial engines and critical military engines.

Many of the investments enable new manufacturing techniques or materials that result in stronger and lighter components, increasing the efficiency of engines and reducing emissions. GE Aerospace and its partner engines power three out of every four commercial flights and two-thirds of U.S. military aircraft.The company continues to see strong demand from its military and commercial customers for new engines and to maximize the availability of engines in operation. The 2024 investment plan expands the company’s capacity to continue ramping LEAP engine production, prepare for production of the GE9X, and to continue supporting the U.S. military and its allies.

These expansion activities will also result in over 1,000 new job openings for open external positions at its U.S. factories and over 300 new jobs across Europe. GE’s stock has been skyrocketing over the next few months, after a tough few years that led to a major reorganization of its businesses.

More AM in the USA

“As GE Aerospace prepares to become a standalone company this spring, we are making significant investments in the future of flight and in the dozens of communities and supplier partners helping us build it,” said H. Lawrence Culp, Jr., Chairman and CEO of GE and CEO of GE Aerospace. “These investments are part of the next chapter for GE Aerospace, supporting cutting-edge equipment and safety enhancements that will help us meet our customers’ growing needs.”

The 2024 investment plan calls for nearly $450 million to go toward new machines, inspection equipment, building upgrades, and new test cells and safety enhancements at 22 GE Aerospace facilities across 14 states. An additional $100 million will go to supplier partners based in the United States.

Of these, $54 million will go to the Auburn site in Alabama, which is a major AM production facility and will receive additional additive (3D printing) machines and tooling to increase the production of military rotorcraft engine components, along with narrow and widebody commercial aircraft engines. Additive manufacturing is seen as a critical technology that allows for greater performance and fuel efficiency while reducing weight and part count.

GE Aerospace to invest over $700 million withA significant part of the investment going to expand its AM capabilities in the US and Europe

Another $30 million will go to the to Lynn site in Massachusetts for investment in engine assembly and testing that supports the production of U.S. and allied military helicopter and fighter jet engines. Additional investments will be used for facility maintenance and upkeep, and build on investments made in 2023.

A total of $46 million will go to four North Carolina facilities that produce parts and assemble engines for either narrowbody or widebody commercial engines to meet growing demand. The Asheville site will receive $11 million for high-precision machines used to produce critical components; Durham will receive more than $7 million for tooling and equipment to increase the assembly capacity of engines; West Jefferson will receive almost $5 million for quality inspection equipment and high-tech machinery; and Wilmington will invest $22 million for machines and specialized tooling to increase capacity.

Finally, $107 million to facilities in the greater Cincinnati region, another major AM site for GE, for additional additive manufacturing machines, new tooling and equipment, and modernization and upgrades to test cells that will allow the company to increase the production capacity of engines used in commercial aircraft and in U.S. and allied military helicopter and fighter jets. The final $100 million will strengthen the company’s U.S. supply chain, helping suppliers build and maintain capacity and capabilities needed for sustained growth. Suppliers provide materials (castings and forgings) and some early-stage parts for commercial and military engines.

“This is an investment in the future of manufacturing, ensuring we can continue producing high-quality, cutting-edge engines and services while meeting customer demand,” said Mike Kauffman, GE Aerospace Supply Chain Vice President. Many of these investments are being made as the result of employees and leaders coming together to find ways to improve safety, quality, delivery and costs, through our lean operating model, FLIGHT DECK.

Growing GE Aerospace’s international AM capabilities

To support its customers operating around the globe, GE Aerospace also plans to invest approximately $100 million at some of its international sites in North America, Europe and India.

GE Aerospace to invest over $700 million withA significant part of the investment going to expand its AM capabilities in the US and Europe
A detail of GE Avio Aero’s AM facility in Italy.

The 2024 investments in Europe will go to several sites, with a major focus on Italy, where most of GE Aerospace’s AM production activities originated and are still conducted today. A total of €44 million ($47.9 million) across multiple locations in Italy will go to new and upgraded test cells, additional tooling, new equipment and upgrades to buildings for the production of narrow and widebody commercial aircraft engines, along with military engines.

Another €6.24 million ($6.8 million) will go to the site in Prague, Czech Republic, for new equipment and tooling, along with upgrades to the building to support production of other efficient aircraft engines. An additional €3.39 million ($3.7 million) will be assigned to the site in Bucharest, Romania to upgrade machines, purchase new equipment and tooling to support production of narrowbody aircraft engines. A total of €9.46 million ($10.3 million) will go to several sites in Poland for new equipment and tooling, new test cells, along with upgrades to some buildings to support the production of narrow and widebody commercial aircraft engines and military engines. Another £1.6 million ($2.1 million or €1.9 million) goes to Gloucester, United Kingdom, for new machines, additional tooling, and safety enhancements to the facility.

“These investments will put more efficient engines in airline fleets today and help us bring online the next generation of engines and technologies needed to achieve our 2050 net-zero ambition,” said Riccardo Procacci, president and CEO of propulsion & additive technologies. “This investment is part of the next chapter of GE Aerospace and our work to invent the future of flight, and we look forward to building a strong one in Europe.”

 

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Davide Sher

Since 2002, Davide has built up extensive experience as a technology journalist, market analyst and consultant for the additive manufacturing industry. Born in Milan, Italy, he spent 12 years in the United States, where he completed his studies at SUNY USB. As a journalist covering the tech and videogame industry for over 10 years, he began covering the AM industry in 2013, first as an international journalist and subsequently as a market analyst, focusing on the additive manufacturing industry and relative vertical markets. In 2016 he co-founded London-based VoxelMatters. Today the company publishes the leading news and insights websites VoxelMatters.com and Replicatore.it, as well as VoxelMatters Directory, the largest global directory of companies in the additive manufacturing industry.

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