GE Additive and the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) formed a public-private partnership (PPP) designed to further Indiana’s economic growth by implementing GE’s Binder Jet beta program in the state’s manufacturing sector. Indiana, long considered a Republican stronghold, has a manufacturing sector that produced 27.67% of Indiana’s gross domestic product in 2019. The IEDC, moreover, boasts that the state has the highest number of pass-through highways in any state; Indiana has some of the highest large freight railroads in the United States; FedEx’s second-largest global air hub is based in Indianapolis. These advantages make Indiana a welcome hub for additive manufacturing.
GE’s Binder Jet beta program focuses on metal AM. The company recently announced a partnership with Swedish metallurgy firm Sandvik. Five other firms have partnered with GE’s Additive division, which is based in Cincinnati, a city lying on the Ohio-Indiana border. “Collaboration with industry sits at the very core of our strategy,” said GE Additive Innovation Leader Josh Mook. “We deliberately set out to identify a select group of strategic partners that could help us develop a real-world solution. It’s critically important that when we bring our solution to market next year it can deliver value from day one.”
The partnership between GE and the IEDC occurs under the IEDC’s Economic Activity Stabilization and Enhancement initiative. This three-million-dollar project announced in May 2020 establishes the Emerging Manufacturing Collaboration Center, a catchment facility that makes state-of-the-art equipment available to local manufacturers. The Center is being established in Indianapolis’ 16Tech district. The facility allows manufacturers to train employees on new technologies like GE’s Binder Jet.
“With our Binder Jet solution we have created a highly capable, expandable system,” said Mook. “We will use this partnership with the IEDC to build a broad, flexible, factory ecosystem to cover powder to part, including the recycling chain. Our system is able to support the wide range of companies that we will participate in the ecosystem and we have designed it to be easily plugged into.”
The partnership comes at something of a critical juncture in the American fight to stabilize its economy. With the American presidential and Indiana state elections looming, economic stimulus is a hot topic. The incumbent Republican governor, Eric Holcomb, is set to carry the state on a platform for economic growth. His first gubernatorial term (2016-2020) has been notable for attracting foreign direct investments in Indiana’s economy.
The American industrial Midwest has, as this network reported, more generally been of interest to AM companies. Stratasys is taking a tour through the region in November and December 2020. The PPP between GE Additive and the Indiana Economic Development Corporation shows further promise for AM in the industrial Midwest.
Joe Biden, whose environmental plan might help the AM industry grow, also plans to increase federal investments in manufacturing jobs. This election promise has not been well received in the state, where President Obama was the last Democratic presidential candidate to win in 2008. Biden trails Trump by seven
percent, with a five percent margin of error.
General Electric reported its third-quarter earnings on October 28, 2020. The company beat analysts’ expectations for earnings per share by $0.09. It reported a positive cash flow for the quarter.