AUBURN, Alabama — GE Aviation is turning its facility in Auburn into the world’s first factory for 3-D printed jet engine fuel nozzles, landing the Alabama plant a starring role in a technology that promises to revolutionize aerospace manufacturing.
GE Aviation, one of the world’s top aircraft engine producers, announced plans to introduce high-volume production of the fuel nozzle using additive manufacturing in Auburn at last year’s Farnborough International Airshow. The company said the $50 million project would make the Alabama plant the first to mass produce 3-D printed components for the jet propulsion industry.
Joe Markiewicz, plant manager in Auburn, says the project is moving ahead on schedule, with quality and engineering requirements being met as a prelude to full-scale production. The company plans to have 10 printing machines installed at the 300,000-square-foot facility by year’s end, a figure that could eventually climb to as many as 50.