Additive Manufacturing Strategies

Alcoa Bolsters HIP & 3D Printing Processes Further at Whitehall, MI Facilities with $22 Million Investment

ST Medical Devices

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alcoaWhile Alcoa already has one large facility in Whitehall, MI, it will currently receive a large influx of cash from the corporate coffers, to the tune of $22 million, that will go into furthering Hot Isostatic Pressing (HIP) technology for their 3D printing processes. This is necessary as the $4 billion technology leader makes it a priority to further step up 3D printing of advanced titanium, nickel, and 3D printed parts for aircraft, despite already having numerous other HIP’s production centers in Whitehall. Their jet engines are bestsellers–and demand for their famed quality parts grows.

Because 3D printing allows for elevated quality and production efficiency of components in the aerospace industry, its use by companies like Alcoa is becoming a clear demonstration of how the revolution and progressive transformation in manufacturing is clearly occurring. With such infusions of cash and investments going into expanding plants and furthering processes, the technology of additive manufacturing is clearly here to stay–and it’s making a big difference for big companies like the metals titan, Alcoa, with bases in multiple cities.

2256190_Alcoa_HIP_Investment-(1)Hot Isostatic Pressing technology is nothing new to Alcoa, as it is a standard practice used in reinforcing high-quality parts that are 3D printed for aerospace components. Known as pioneers in the practice of using HIP, Alcoa already owns a massive facility dedicated to using these practices on their parts for improving mechanics and functionality. At the lcoa Power and Propulsion facility in Whitehall, Michigan they will have their new technology in place and ready for use in 2016, after receiving product qualification. This will allow them to expand further, stronger, and smarter.

Hot Isostatic Pressing (HIP) is a high powered industry process that employs high pressure and high temperature to further strengthen components such as blades and other crucial aircraft parts. As they expect a boon in orders, Alcoa is going big in preparing to meet the growing demand for orders from their customer base around the globe.

“As aerospace growth soars, Alcoa continues to invest in the latest technologies, creating added capacity to capture fast-growing demand,” said Olivier Jarrault, Executive Vice President and Alcoa Group President, Engineered Products and Solutions. “Combined with our expansions in LaPorte, Indiana and Hampton, Virginia and our growing 3D printing capabilities, this investment will give Alcoa the broadest capabilities to deliver high-quality titanium, nickel and 3D-printed parts for the world´s bestselling jet engines.”

alAs a large corporation already exhibiting enormous success, growth, and profit, their commitment to quality aerospace components and detailed processes in tandem with 3D printing should serve as a model for many other large corporate entities hoping to follow suit in manufacturing. As the multi-materials solutions company, founded in 1973, works to solidify their facilities and industry practices further, they are also rewarded with a tax credit of $1 million from the city of Whitehall. That allows them a twelve year industrial tax exemption.

Be sure to check out the short video clip below showing off how Alcoa is in the process of changing the aerospace industry for good:

 

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