Additive Manufacturing Strategies

United Technologies Research Center Holds Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony for Expanded Research Center, Announces Additional Investments

ST Medical Devices

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Headquartered in Hartford, Connecticut, United Technologies Research Center (UTRC) is the global innovation division of United Technologies Corp. (UTC), which provides high technology systems and services to the aerospace and building industries. UTRC supports the company’s development of new technologies and capabilities, working with government agencies, research organizations, and universities to continue innovating in the fields of science and technology. Recently, UTRC participated in an additive manufacturing symposium with other industry heavyweights, and just introduced its expanded research center.

The $60 million expansion to the research and development center added on an extra 50,000 square feet to the facility, and Connecticut Governor Dannel P. Malloy and UTC’s Chairman and CEO Greg Hayes led the formal ribbon-cutting ceremony; other guests included US Senator for Connecticut Richard Blumenthal; US Representative John Larson; UTC Senior Vice President of Science & Technology Dr. J. Michael McQuade; and Dr. David Parekh, Corporate Vice President, Research, and Director, UTRC. Over 400 current and former UTC and Research Center employees were also there for the opening.

The renovation and expansion project has been ongoing for the last two years, and will now offer a total of 185,000 square feet of laboratory and office space. The historic 2014 Connecticut Aerospace Reinvestment Act (CARA) made the $60 million build out possible, which will allow UTRC to continue expanding upon its central capabilities and accelerate the deployment of metal and polymer additive technologies throughout UTC businesses. As part of this deal between UTC, Governor Malloy, and the General Assembly, UTC agreed to spend $500 million to expand and renovate its research and manufacturing facilities over five years.

Dr. David E. Parekh stands in United Technologies’ newly built research and development center in East Hartford. [Image: Lauren Schneiderman, Hartford Courant]

“Global innovation at UTC begins right here at the Research Center in East Hartford. Today we are unveiling a clear demonstration of UTC’s commitment to investing in the breakthrough technologies that will help shape our future,” said Dr. Parekh. “Since 1929, UTRC has served as a strategic partner to all UTC businesses, driving the newest and best advances in aerospace and commercial building technologies. This investment in our headquarters and our current and future innovators will allow us to remain global leaders for decades to come.”

The expanded facility is looking to attain LEED Gold certification with the US Green Building Council.

As if the grand opening wasn’t enough, the company also announced at the ceremony that it would be increasing its current $50 million investment into the research center by another $10 million, as well as investing $40 million for compressor technology research for jet engines, made by UTC subsidiary Pratt & Whitney, and $75 million to promote additive manufacturing research. Dr. Parekh said that UTC, which makes aerospace parts, building security systems, elevators, and heating and cooling equipment, spends around $4 billion each year on research for its businesses.

In the new Pratt & Whitney Engine Compressor Research facility, the two will work to develop advanced compressor technologies for use in future military and commercial engines. Over the next few months, UTRC is also working on building a corporate headquarters in Connecticut for Pratt & Whitney, and developing a Pratt & Whitney engineering “center of excellence” in the state. UTC will also build a customer training center at UTC Aerospace Systems, build new labs at UTRC, and invest in innovative new research and capital projects at United Technologies Aerospace Systems, Pratt & Whitney, and the newly expanded research center.

As part of the deal, the state of Connecticut allowed UTC to receive up to $400 million tax offsets over 14 years, which Governor Malloy called “a key economic development that keeps thousands of engineering, manufacturing and scientific research jobs in Connecticut.”

On top of keeping jobs in Connecticut, these new labs will hopefully lead to numerous product developments across the company’s businesses, such as sensors and robotics, and improve the use of “big data.”

Dr. Parekh said, “This is a once-in-a-generation investment. The role of the research center is to anticipate and define what’s coming.”

Discuss in the UTRC forum at 3DPB.com.

[Sources/Images: Hartford Courant, UTRC]

 

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