Carpenter Technology Corp. opened its 500,000-square-foot Emerging Technology Center (ETC) in Athens, Ala. It will provide 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). The ETC’s downstream equipment for taking the initially produced part to a final finished product includes a hot isostatic press (HIP) system and vacuum heat treating to optimize the material properties of high-value specialty alloy components. Carpenter Technology has invested approximately $40 million to date in the ETC and is expected to create about 60 jobs over the next five years.
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. The facility 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.
Carpenter Technology said it will also use the ETC as a base to launch future investments as it scales up additional powder operations. The ETC investment complements the company’s 500,000-square-foot Alabama manufacturing facility, which began operations in 2014 and produces high-end specialty alloy products for the aerospace and energy markets.