GE is developing its Center for Additive Technology Advancement (CATA) in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania into an externally focused “Customer Experience Center” (CEC) to accelerate the use of additive manufacturing with GE customers across several industries.
With this transition, the $39 million Pittsburgh technology center, opened in April 2016 to drive additive manufacturing within GE industrial operations, now joins a global network of CECs under the growing umbrella of GE Additive.
Last month, GE Additive announced the creation of a CEC in Munich, Germany, to allow current and potential customers to experience first-hand designing and producing components using additive manufacturing.
Like the Munich site, the Pittsburgh site will operate additive machines from Concept Laser of Germany and Arcam EBM of Sweden – both leading additive providers in which GE has majority ownership. The Pittsburgh center will augment the operations already within both Arcam and Concept Laser operations in the United States, including Arcam’s Orthopedic Center of Excellence in Shelton, Connecticut.
The additive machines at the Pittsburgh CEC will be enhanced by GE’s cloud-based Predix operating platform to enable industrial-scale analytics and GE Edge devices, which provide real-time control and monitoring.
While the 50 employees at the Pittsburgh center will continue to support GE’s industrial businesses with additive initiatives, they will expand their focus to support current and potential Concept Laser and Arcam customers in additive design and production. Customers will benefit from hands-on training and instruction at the facility, covering additive design, machine operations and support.
“We are thrilled to expand our concept of customer centers in the United States with a facility already at the leading edge of additive technology development,” said Robert Griggs, general manager of the Customer Experience Centers for GE Additive. Jennifer Cipolla, general manager of the Pittsburgh center, will continue to lead the facility as a new CEC.
The Pittsburgh CEC, near the Pittsburgh airport, is convenient to Carnegie Mellon University, the University of Pittsburgh, and Robert Morris University, all in Pittsburgh, and Penn State University at State College, Pennsylvania. These institutions are already engaged in additive engineering and manufacturing processes.