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Press Release

GE Oil & Gas Uses 3D Printing to Produce Control Valve Parts at Kariwa Plant

February 26, 2015

“Advanced Manufacturing” which is revolutionizing manufacturing provides customers with shorter delivery times and lower costs

TOKYO, JAPAN --- February 26, 2015 --- GE Oil & Gas uses the latest in metal laser sintering hybrid milling machines (metal 3D printers) at its Kariwa plant in Niigata Prefecture, Japan, to manufacture GE’s Masoneilan control valve parts with special configurations for use across various applications across the Energy industry.

The use of metal 3D printing offers several benefits. One is that it is now possible to manufacture control valve parts with complex shapes, such as hollow structures, curved shapes, and meshes, which are difficult to make using conventional additive manufacturing methods, thereby allowing for a substantial improvement in design freedom. Another merit is that it makes integrated molding possible, which reduces the steps required for processing mould  dies, realizing faster manufacturing times and lower cost when compared with conventional methods. An example of the substantial contribution that the metal 3D printer can make to reducing delivery times is that it allowed for a specially shaped component, which would have taken an estimated three months to produce using conventional manufacturing methods, to be manufactured in about two weeks.

Alvin Jeffers, Senior Executive for GE Oil & Gas’ Global Supply Chain said, “A completely new form of product manufacturing has been realized through the advanced technology of the metal 3D printer and the full utilization of that technology through the outstanding creativity of Japanese designers. Advanced manufacturing has changed the conventional definitions and mechanisms of manufacturing, namely design and production, while offering an abundance of merits to customers, such as faster manufacturing times and greatly reduced costs. I am confident that it will become a new standard in the manufacturing industry in the near future.”

Mitsuaki Sakonju, the Kariwa plant Director, said, “We consider this metal 3D printer to be the best means for delivering high-grade products that meet the customer’s individual needs in the shortest amount of time and with increased cost competitiveness. GE’s Kariwa plant will continue to work to provide its customers in Japan with the most suitable control valve products and solutions in the shortest amount of time possible by making full use of its accumulated knowledge and the latest technology.”

Until now GE has used metal 3D printers at its headquarters in the United States to manufacture parts for its jet aircraft engines. GE Healthcare in Japan has been actively implementing and promoting “Advanced Manufacturing,” which represents a new type of “manufacturing” through the introduction of a 3D plastic printer at its Hino factory. However, this is the first time that GE has introduced a metal 3D printer at one of its locations in Japan. GE will work to utilize this printer’s outstanding capabilities to develop a new “manufacturing” that can meet the wide variety of needs of its customers in Japan in a timely manner.

The Kariwa plant uses the LUMEX Avance-25 metal 3D printer, manufactured by Matsuura Machinery Corporation, and is the first in the world to combine both additive manufacturing processes using a fiber optic laser and milling processes by a machining center into one unit.

Reference: LUMEX Avance-25 Metal 3D Printer Specifications

Laser type:                           Yb fiber optic laser

Laser output:                      400W

Max. workpiece size:          250mm x 250mm x 150mm

Outer dimensions:              1800mm x 2050mm x 2500mm

Weight:                               4500kg

About GE

GE (NYSE: GE) imagines things others don’t, builds things others can’t and delivers outcomes that make the world work better. GE brings together the physical and digital worlds in ways no other company can. In its labs and factories and on the ground with customers, GE is inventing the next industrial era to move, power, build and cure the world.

About GE Oil & Gas

GE Oil & Gas works on the things that matter in the oil and gas industry. In collaboration with our customers, we push the boundaries of technology to bring energy to the world. From extraction to transportation to end use, we address today's toughest challenges in order to fuel the future. Follow GE Oil & Gas on Twitter @GE_OilandGas.

For more information, please contact:

GE Japan PR office at Kyodo PR

TEL:+81 3 3571 5175 FAX:+81 3 3571 5382 

Email:[email protected]

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