3D Printers

Cummins Inc. invests in binder jet 3D printer, progress report on GE Additive H2

Cummins Inc., an American manufacturer and remanufacturer of engines, has invested in a beta-stage H2 binder jet metal 3D printer from GE Additive.  

On the acquisition, Cummins’ Vice President of Global Manufacturing, Tim Millwood, said, “By investing in 3D metal additive technologies from GE Additive, we are investing in Cummins and our customers,”

“This technology has the potential to provide our customers with a quicker, lower-cost production method that ultimately uses less energy, which means we can better serve our customers and reduce our environmental impact.”

The tools for Industry 4.0

To keep its production chain efficient, the hundred-year-old manufacturer has continued to incorporate Industry 4.0 solutions, such as automation, Internet of Things, AI, and 3D printing.

Currently, Cummins’ Research and Development Center in San Luis Potosi, Mexico, has three 3D printers, and Cummins Technical Center (CTC) in Columbus houses the Concept Laser M2 metal 3D printer by GE Additive. Furthermore, as part of the CTC’s Materials Laboratory, the center has a dedicated Additive Manufacturing Laboratory.

In addition to this, the company’s research requirements in metal 3D printing are fulfilled by the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee with whom Cummins is partners.  Recently, in an effort to test the scalability of 3D printed parts, Cummins also sold its first 3D printed metal part made on a Concept Laser M2. 

So far Cummins Inc. has focused on low-volume production with 3D printing. The company uses its 3D printers to remanufacture parts and engines under the brand name ReCon. With the addition of a fully functional beta H2 binder jet machine by GE Additive, Cummins hopes to increase the speed and volume of 3D printed parts.

A 3D printed metal bracket made on a Concept Laser M2 by Cummins. Image via Cummins.
A 3D printed metal bracket made on a Concept Laser M2 by Cummins. Image via Cummins.

Progress of the GE Additive H2

The H2 is a successor of GE’s H1 binder jet metal 3D printer, first teased by the company in 2017. Since that point, GE binder jet development has remained largely in stealth mode. 

Jake Brunsberg, GE Additive’s Global Commercial Lead for Binder Jet Technology, said, “In early 2019, we launched the beta testing and partner program and deliberately sought out partners and key customers, like Cummins, who are committed to mass production […] Above all, we want to partner with companies whose businesses and customers will benefit tremendously from binder jet technologies.”

H2, a binder jet BETA machine by GE Additive. Image via GE Additive.
H2, a binder jet BETA machine by GE Additive. Image via GE Additive.

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Featured image shows H2, a binder jet BETA machine by GE Additive. Image via GE Additive.

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