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Innovation Challenge uncovers new approaches to complex castings

Two proposals from around the globe have been selected as winners of a GE Aviation open innovation challenge, Alternative Manufacturing of Aviation Castings, designed to identify alternative technologies for investment casting of complex engine structural components.

"Structural castings are one of the most challenging components in a jet engine, and this challenge was a successful way to engage innovators from all around the globe to uncover approaches to improve on current processes to increase speed and reduce cost while maintaining or improving product quality and reliability," said Julia Bird, project sponsor and Sub-Section Manager at GE Aviation. "With 89 participants, the breadth of responses ranged from entrepreneurs to large, established multi-nationals. This adds a new layer of possibilities to grow our network and rolodex as we continue to focus on putting our customers first."

Round I winners of GE's Alternative Manufacturing of Aviation Castings Challenge are:

* Burloak Technologies of Ontario, Canada, with a proposal that included design optimization to enable use of additive manufacturing to create a component offering 50% weight and cycle time reduction compared to the baseline.

* buyCastings.com of Miamisburg, OH, with a proposed process called Mass Manufacturing of Metal Parts (3MP) that combines additive manufacturing with other processing techniques to lower cycle time and reduce inspection requirements due to improved material qualities.

Participants developed proposals based on a detailed engineering model of a simulated structural casting. The criteria for evaluation included a targeted 25% reduction in cost, driving cycle time below 12 weeks, annual production capability for 125 units and improvement in tolerance and controls to permit reduction of material and maintenance of wall thickness. Winners receive a $5,000 cash prize and may have the opportunity to engage further with GE Aviation to collaborate and potentially continue technology development.

Round II of the Alternative Manufacturing of Castings Innovation Challenge launches in mid-April with submissions due by May 7, 2015 @ 5pm EST. GE will now seek to identify more broad capabilities-expanding contacts for transformative and emerging manufacturing technologies and techniques. This quest strives to discover novel, unique and non-mainstream manufacturing methods-including demonstrable, early stage techniques.

GE promotes open innovation across its industrial portfolio as a way embrace of entrepreneurial thinking, collaboration and commitment and drive accelerated, tangible outcomes. "We are constantly challenging ourselves to be faster and simpler while putting the customer first," said Lisa Ralph, Open Innovation Leader at GE Corporate. "Innovation challenges are an exciting vehicle to rethink what's possible by collaborating with entrepreneurs, universities and the broader global community to ideate, test and commercialize promising new technologies. It is an inspiring process that celebrates cognitive diversity and allows us to partner with brilliant minds to solve for novel solutions and high impact opportunities in market." Check our Round II Challenge page for more detail: https://ninesights.ninesigma.com/web/aviation-advanced-manufacturing .

Press release issued by GE Aircraft Engines on April 16, 2015


 Contact details from our directory:
Burloak Technologies Inc Machining Services, Fabricating Services, Boring & Drilling Services, Shot Peening, Grinding, Turning, Lapping Service, Additive Manufacturing
GE Aircraft Engines Turboprop Engines, Turboshaft Engines, Turbofan Engines, Turbojet Engines
buyCastings.com Casting, Non-Destructive Testing


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