GE Aviation acquires robotics maker

GE Aviation’s headquarters in Evendale, Ohio. STAFF FILE PHOTO
GE Aviation’s headquarters in Evendale, Ohio. STAFF FILE PHOTO

GE Aviation has acquired a United Kingdom-based manufacturer that builds snake-arm robots for work in confined and hazardous areas.

Terms of the deal to acquire OC Robotics were not disclosed.

The robots are typically used in hazardous and hard-to-get to confined areas for inspections, repairs and cleaning in the aerospace, construction, nuclear, petrochemical and security industries, GE said in a statement.

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GE will use the technology for work on jet engines, a company official said. The snake armed robots can stretch more than nine feet and bend more than 180 degrees, GE Aviation said.

“OC Robotics will play an important role in how we service our customers’ engines,” Jean Lydon-Rodgers, GE Aviation Services vice president and general manager, said in a statement Monday.

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OC Robotics, which started two decades ago and is located in Bristol, England, has worked for more than a decade to develop the technology, officials said.

“For 15 years, OC Robotics invested heavily to develop snake-arm robot technologies, and the aviation industry has always been a target area for this technology,” Andy Graham, OC Robotics director, said in a statement.

GE Aviation operates the $51 million Electrical Power Integrated Services Center, opened in 2013, on the University of Dayton campus and produces aircraft parts at a facility in Vandalia. The company report revenues of $26 billion in 2016 and employs 44,000 employees, including 9,000 in southwest Ohio, said company spokeswoman Deborah Case.

OC Robotics was a privately held company and revenues were not immediately released.