Carpenter Technology has announced the opening of its new Emerging Technology Center (ETC) in Athens, Alabama. The facility, which spans 500,000 square feet, will focus on additive manufacturing processes and will produce parts for a range of cross-industry applications in aerospace, transportation, energy and oil and gas.
The state-of-the-art ETC facility will house end-to-end equipment for metal additive manufacturing, including equipment for atomizing a range of specialty alloys into metal AM powders, production AM systems and post processing solutions. For finishing parts, Carpenter’s ETC will operate a cutting-edge quick cooling Hot Isostatic Press (HIP) and a vacuum heat treatment system for improving the material properties of specialty alloy components.
The ETC will also place an important focus on traceability and process analysis. That is, the facility will provide full traceability as well as analytical insights throughout the manufacturing process using a digital thread. This capability will enable Carpenter Technology to easily manage and streamline the manufacturing process, from end to end, in a single facility.
“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 CEO 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.”
Alabama was a strategic choice for Carpenter Technology’s new ETC, as the company already operates a vast manufacturing facility in the state, focused on producing high-end specialty alloys for the aerospace and energy markets. The ETC will complement the existing facility by honing in on advanced manufacturing processes.
“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,” explained Thene.
To date, Carpenter Technology has invested roughly $40 million in the ETC—and over $600 million in its Alabama operations. The new AM facility is expected to create about 60 jobs in the area over the next five years.
“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.”