CSCMP's Supply Chain Quarterly
February 23, 2017
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GE opens wallet to boost 3-D printing

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The company now offers financing for businesses buying additive manufacturing machines.

Industrial giant General Electric Co. is continuing to shoulder its way into the supply chain space, announcing January 4, 2017 that it would throw the weight of its financing division behind its effort to plant a stake in the business of additive manufacturing—better known as three-dimensional (3-D) printing.

Boston-based GE said its GE Additive business would now collaborate with GE Capital to sell and finance metal additive machines. Because the financing will make it easier for clients to buy 3-D printers, GE says, manufacturing companies will use that technology to spur growth in industrial markets including medical, aerospace, automotive, and machining.

The announcement comes three months after GE spent nearly $600 million to acquire a 75-percent stake in German 3-D printing company Concept Laser GmbH and an undisclosed amount for a similar stake in the Swedish firm Arcam AB, a specialist in metal-based additive manufacturing.

Including those acquisitions, GE has invested $1.5 billion in advanced manufacturing and additive technologies, in addition to building a global network of additive centers and advancing the science, the company says.

"Additive manufacturing is the new revolution, [making] the way we design and manufacture products faster, more sophisticated, and more cost efficient," Mohammad Ehteshami, vice president for additive integration at GE Additive, said in a release. "By partnering with GE Capital, we're now able to democratize additive manufacturing, making it easier for businesses to buy additive machines, fostering their competitiveness, and accelerating the adoption rate. We're excited to be part of the additive revolution."

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