Manufacturer and distributor, GE Healthcare Life Sciences, has introduced a new additive manufacturing centre in Umea, Sweden to accelerate biopharma manufacturers’ access to the latest available technology.
This centre, which was a two-million USD investment, will aim to integrate 3D printed parts into the production of biomanufacturing equipment.
The company’s first 3D printing centre was opened in 2018 in Uppsala, Sweden, and together the two units support the entire additive journey from design and 3D prototyping to serial production. This ensures engineers are able to design increasingly complex parts and manufacture them with sub-millimetric precision at significantly reduced lead times. Once product design and validation are completed in Uppsala, the serial production of components begins in Umea.
Olivier Loeillot, general manager bioprocess at GE Healthcare Life Sciences, says: “Our latest 3D printing centre offers substantial productivity gains and adds more strength to our supply chain. The components manufactured with additive technology are smaller and more durable. For our customers, this means better quality, less waste, and simplified designs. Our two additive manufacturing capabilities are strategically located in Sweden, where we produce chromatography resins and bioprocess equipment, to speed the supply of bioprocess technologies to market.”
By incorporating additive manufacturing in research and development and production at GE Healthcare Life Sciences, the organisation believes this increases the agility of the supply chain, streamlining development and manufacturing processes, as well as simplifying logistics and sourcing.
The 3D printing facility is initially equipped with a 3D printer for serial production of polyamide parts, a powder mixing station, and advanced post-processing equipment. The centre supports the manufacture of components used in bioprocess equipment including HiScale columns, Biacore SPR systems, and the recently launched AKTA go chromatography system.
Additive manufacturing is expected to have a significant impact on the life sciences industry in the coming years by accelerating innovation in bioprocessing and drug discovery.