EVENDALE, Ohio, Nov. 20, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- GE Aviation has acquired the assets of Morris Technologies, and its sister company, Rapid Quality Manufacturing, precision manufacturing companies operating in suburban Cincinnati, Ohio. Terms were not disclosed. The two privately-held companies, with about 130 Cincinnati-area employees, specialize in additive manufacturing, an automated process for creating rapid prototypes and end-use production components. With this acquisition, GE Aviation continues to expand its engineering and manufacturing capabilities to meet its growing jet engine production rates over the next five years. (In addition to acquiring these manufacturing processes, GE Aviation will open two new production plants in the United States next year.) "Morris Technologies and Rapid Quality Manufacturing are parts of our investment in emerging manufacturing technologies," said Colleen Athans, vice president and general manager of the Supply Chain Division at GE Aviation. "Our ability to develop state-of-the-art manufacturing processes for emerging materials and complex design geometry is critical to our future. We are so fortunate to have Morris Technologies and Rapid Quality Manufacturing just minutes from our headquarters. We know them well." The additive manufacturing process involves taking digital designs from computer aided design (CAD) software, and laying horizontal cross-sections to manufacture the part. The process creates the layered cross-sections using a laser beam to melt the raw material. These parts tend to be lighter than traditional forged parts because they don't require the same level of welding. Additive manufacturing also generates less scrap material during the fabrication process. Founded by Cincinnati natives Greg Morris, Wendell Morris and Bill Noack in 1994, Morris Technologies ( Sharonville) and Rapid Quality Manufacturing ( West Chester) have supplied parts to GE Aviation for several years, as well as to GE Power Systems and our Global Research Center. The companies have made everything from lightweight parts for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) for the U.S. military to hip replacement prototypes for the medical field. The Sharonville and West Chester facilities will become part of GE Aviation's global network of manufacturing operations. Morris Technologies and Rapid Quality Manufacturing have already been contracted by GE Aviation to produce components for the best-selling LEAP jet engine being developed by CFM International, a 50/50 joint company of GE and Snecma (SAFRAN) of France. The LEAP engine, which is scheduled to enter service in the middle of this decade on three different narrow-body aircraft, has already received more than 4,000 engine orders before the first full engine has even gone to test.