A new partnership involving Butler County-based GE Additive and Cincinnati State aims to create jobs in a field many experts say will revolutionize global manufacturing.
West Chester-based GE Additive and the community college announced Wednesday a new training program in the rapidly growing additive manufacturing, or 3-D printing, industry.
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With technical assistance from GE, Cincinnati State’s Workforce Development Center, which operates out of Middletown and Evendale, will use a nearly $400,000 grant from the federally-funded LIFT Institute to develop a training program for additive technicians that will fill a skills gap in the 3-D printing industry, officials said.
“It’s important in the region for us to have capable, well-trained engineers and technicians so we can work with the academia to hire those graduated students to come over here to work on machines and help us design the product and also to create a competitive region versus the globe,” said Mohammad Ehteshami, vice president and general manager of GE Additive.”
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Cincinnati State has “great expertise” creating education programs, but collaboration with industry partners such as GE Additive is essential to addressing current and future workforce needs, according to Monica Posey, the college’s president.
“The partnership and the LIFT grant allows us to work towards developing a certificate in additive manufacturing,” Posey told. “We’re preparing future workers. We’re preparing the curriculum and working with the advisory committee to be sure it’s completely what’s needed most.”
Ehteshami said 3-D printing is “one of the most disruptive manufacturing technologies to come along in years.”
“You can take hundreds or thousands of parts and you can put them together,” he said. “It is lighter, it is cheaper, it is more durable and you can create it faster. You don’t need a lot of toolings.”
GE launched GE Additive in West Chester Twp. in September 2016 after more than 20 years of experience in the additive field, which included the creation of the first 3-D printed part for the CFM LEAP engine, a fuel nozzle that once required 20 different parts to build, but now is one part that is 25 percent lighter, Ehteshami said.
“Those 20 parts will travel 4,000 to 5,000 miles to get here. Now (with 3D printing), it travels … 10 feet,” he said.
GE Additive, which acquired two major 3D printer manufacturers in the past year, is working to become one of the leading additive manufacturing technology and equipment providers, and plans to achieve revenues of $1 billion by 2020, Ehteshami said.
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Other collaborative efforts announced Wednesday include:
- An Additive Technology Business Symposium hosted Oct. 5 at GE Additive and expected to draw more than 100 Greater Cincinnati and Dayton businesses interested in learning how additive manufacturing will change their industries.
- The Village of Evendale utilizing a $500,000 grant from Jobs Ohio to further its efforts in developing AeroHUB, a potentially 240-acre advanced manufacturing accelerator next to Interstate 75 that fosters innovation in the aerospace and additive fields.
- A Technical Advisory Committee formed to promote the region’s additive industry, one that includes representatives from GE Additive, Cincinnati State, Procter & Gamble, Rhinestahl, Techsolve, University of Cincinnati, Jobs Ohio, REDI Cincinnati, Able Tool, Kinetic Vision and others.
- Cincinnati State leveraging $3.5 million in federal and state awards to create an advanced manufacturing career pathway based on input from industry partners.
Joe Hinson, president and CEO of the West Chester-Liberty Chamber Alliance, said what GE Additive has been able to accomplish in West Chester Twp. in only a year is “just tremendous.”
“We’re very fortunate to have them here,” Hinson said. “Bringing business and education (together) is a key component to what we do at the West Chester-Liberty Chamber Alliance and (having) Cincinnati State involved as part of us is exactly what we see as far as sustainability for our community and entire region.”