Carpenter Technology opens new Alabama-based additive manufacturing facility

Carpenter Technology has opened a new advanced additive manufacturing facility in its 500,000-square-foot Emerging Technology Center (ETC) in Athens, Alabama.

The additive manufacturing facility will focus on the atomisation of a range of specialty alloys into 3D printing powders to enable end-use components. It represents yet another significant investment in additive manufacturing from Carpenter, who this year acquired LPW Technologies in a $81m deal and launched a dedicated business unit to the technology. 

Carpenter’s new additive capabilities in Athens will include a range of downstream equipment including Hot Isostatic Press and vacuum heat treating to optimise the material properties. Parts will then be put through a qualification process to facilitate their application in industries like aerospace, energy, oil and gas, and transport.

These operations will be supplemented by the company’s established ETC processes. The ETC was designed to maintain full traceability and provide analytical insights throughout the manufacturing workflows taking place at the site. By generating a digital thread, Carpenter has been able to streamline operations.

“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,” commented Carpenter Technology CEO Tony Thene.

“Carpenter Technology’s new Emerging Technology Center will power game-changing advances in the company’s development of sophisticated new additive manufacturing technologies,” offered 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.”

Carpenter has so far invested $40m into its ETC and last year announced the figure is likely to rise to $52m with soft magnetics technology and the scaling of additional powder operations both on the agenda. Additionally, around 60 jobs are expected to be created throughout the next five years.  

“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,” Thene added.

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