Carpenter Technology Corporation today announced the grand opening of its Emerging Technology Center (ETC) in Athens, Alabama.
Carpenter Technology's 500,000-square-foot ETC is North America's newest additive manufacturing (AM) facility containing true end-to-end capabilities. The ETC provides the capability to atomize a range of specialty alloys into metal powder and manufacture the powder into finished parts using AM technology (3D metal printing). Its downstream equipment for taking the initially produced part to a final finished product includes the latest, state-of-the-art quick cooling Hot Isostatic Press (HIP) system in the United States, as well as vacuum heat treating to optimize the material properties of high-value specialty alloy components. Parts manufactured in the ETC can then be qualified for use in a range of cross-industry applications, from aerospace and transportation to oil and gas and energy.
Critically, the ETC is designed to maintain full traceability and provide analytical insights throughout the manufacturing process via a digital thread, allowing Carpenter Technology to manage the entire manufacturing process under one roof with a streamlined workflow—a key differentiator for the Company in the AM industry.
"Our Emerging Technology Center is a critical component of Carpenter Technology's future growth and development, and is aligned with our business strategy of evolving to an end-to-end solutions provider and influential leader in the AM area," said Carpenter Technology Chief Executive Officer Tony Thene. "We will also use it as a base to launch future investments as we expand our soft magnetics technology platform, scale up additional powder operations and demonstrate a number of next generation materials we have under development today."
The ETC investment complements Carpenter Technology's 500,000-square-foot Alabama manufacturing facility, which began operations in 2014, and produces high-end specialty alloy products, primarily for the aerospace and energy markets.
"We have chosen to continue to invest in North Alabama because it offers three important advantages—a high-quality, tech-oriented workforce, a clear connection with the aerospace industry and a close working partnership with state and local government officials," said Thene.
"I have been looking forward to the opening of Carpenter Technology's Emerging Technology Center since we joined with company leaders to announce plans for the facility at the Farnborough International Airshow in 2018," Alabama Governor Kay Ivey said. "I'm proud to see this world-class R&D center call Alabama home as we continue to strengthen the partnership with our friends at Carpenter Technology."
Carpenter Technology has invested approximately $40 million to date in the ETC and is expected to create approximately 60 jobs over the next five years as well as help further the region's position as an advanced manufacturing technology center. To date, the Company has invested a total of over $600 million in its Alabama operations.
"Carpenter Technology's new Emerging Technology Center will power game-changing advances in the company's development of sophisticated new additive manufacturing technologies," said Greg Canfield, secretary of the Alabama Department of Commerce. "With the ETC, Carpenter Technology is bringing new capabilities to Alabama's manufacturing sector, and I can't wait to see how the work conducted there helps to shape the future for this great company."
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