GE Healthcare Opens 3D-Printing Mfg Center for Pharma

By Akia Thorpe -

October 6, 2017

GE Healthcare has opened its first 3D printing lab, called the Innovative Design and Advanced Manufacturing Technology Center for Europe, in Uppsala, Sweden. The center will use technologies, including 3D printing and robotics, to speed up the launch of new innovative products for the healthcare industry.

The center combines advanced manufacturing technology, such as metal and polymer printers and collaborative robots, or “cobots,” with traditional machining equipment. Teams will design, test and produce 3D-printed parts for GE Healthcare products and prepare for final transfer to manufacturing.

“…A 3D printed part can combine 20 parts into a single part and improve performance,” GE said in announcing the new center. “Reducing parts in a manufacturing process benefits industries like the biomanufacturing industry where the processes and manufacturing equipment are complex and made up of hundreds different parts.”

GE is working with Amgen to test the performance of a chromatography column used in the process to develop biopharmaceuticals. The 3D-printed column has been custom-designed and is now being tested to see if it can be used in Amgen’s research to help develop improved processes for the purification stage of biopharmaceutical production.

The GE Healthcare Advanced Manufacturing Engineering team, located at GE’s Advanced Manufacturing Technology Center in Waukesha, Wisconsin, has also developed and programmed multiple cobots, which are now installed across GE Healthcare factories globally.

GE Healthcare is one of six GE businesses using additive (3D printing) applications. GE seeks to grow its new additive business to $1 billion by 2020. The company says that GE Additive, the company’s additive business, is planning to sell 10,000 additive machines over the next 10 years.

Source: GE Healthcare