Global manufacturing services company Jabil has revealed its intentions to establish a new 3D printing center of excellence in the U.S. To create the center, the company is planning to invest around $42 million to expand a healthcare facility in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Celebrating the pending investment on August 15 were the Governor of New Mexico Michelle Lujan Grisham, Albequerque Mayor Tim Keller, and Steve Borges, Jabil’s EVP & CEO of the Growth Division.
Building an additive manufacturing hub
Though Jabil currently occupies two other sites in New Mexico, the company has only recently established a presence in the city of Albuquerque. In September 2018, the company signed a contract to take over the management of 14 medical sites previously belonging to Johnson & Johnson Medical Devices, which itself has a 3D printed device portfolio. As a result of this deal, Jabil currently employs around 360 workers in the city, and has already started advertising new roles for the facility’s additive manufacturing expansion.
Posted August 15, Jabil is currently looking to hire 15 new personnel, including materials management supervisors, quality technicians and three additive manufacturing engineers. Over the next five years, the company expects to create 120 new jobs within the center of excellence, a move enthusiastically welcomed by the local government. “When we’re announcing hundreds of jobs, that’s not just a celebration,” added Governer Lujan Grisham, “that’s an indication that we’re doing it right.”
For Borges part, he says, “For me, it’s not just about the next two years, three years, five years, it’s really putting a foundational footprint here in Albuquerque for the future to take advantage of that growth.”
A $42 million improvement for 3D printing in healthcare
In a 2019 survey of more than 300 industry stakeholders, Jabil identified medical device R&D (after prototyping) as the most common application for 3D printing. Metal 3D printing in particular, for medical devices, is expected to benefit the most from the upcoming expansion. The company expects to install around $42 million of equipment in the facility.
The New Mexico Local Economic Development Act has said it will contribute $750,000 in funding to help establish the center of excellent. The city of Albuquerque says it will contribute a further $250,000 to the project too. Mayor Keller said, “We really try to make that return on investment calculation work, and this is a tremendous example for our city.”
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Featured image shows the inside of a Jabil production facility. Photo via Jabil