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GE to develop additive manufacturing of locomotive components

Austrak, Laing O'Rourke and USQ join forces on composite rail technology

23 November 2018

Reports that additive manufacturing could be used in the production of up to 250 locomotives by 2025 if GE Transportation's early trials of the technology prove successful. The company is looking to build on the experience of GE's aviation business over the past six years to develop the technique as a means to reduce the time needed to produce components. The resulting components can also be more compact and more precisely designed to meet the end use requirement, Dominique Malenfant, Vice-President of Global Technology, told Railway Gazette. Additive manufacturing removes the need for castings and time-consuming mould production. Prototyping could be done in a matter of days, thus drastically expediting the design process. Another potential gain is the ability to complete complex components in a single pass. A key aspiration of GE's strategy is to make principal engine components more compact as locomotive technology emerges. The company hopes to begin using 3D printed locomotive parts on a trial basis from next year with a view to widespread adoption by the middle of the next decade.

Railway Gazette International, Nov. 2018. p.44.