Independent additive manufacturing (AM) consultancy, The Barnes Group Advisors (TBGA) has released the results of an impact study into the overall economic benefits of the planned Neighborhood 91 AM production campus at Pittsburgh International Airport.
The cluster has been designed to house a complete end-to-end AM supply chain on a 195-acre site directly attached to airport. The findings of the report highlight five key impact areas which suggest Neighborhood 91 can act as a “catalyst for AM industrialisation and innovation”.
The report found that the cluster could deliver a reduction in production costs by 25% for AM parts manufacturers and by 30% for powder manufacturers. It offers a simplified supply chain with a proposed 80% reduction in manufacturing lead times and an 80-100% reduction in transport costs and miles for powder to part production. The Neighborhood is also set to reduce energy consumption and emissions by minimising transportation needs due to a centralised production campus and an overall reduced energy demand.
Figures detailing the wider economic impact on Pennsylvania suggest the cluster will create over 6,000 jobs, a total business output impact of 6.9 billion USD and a total value-added impact of 3 billion USD.
TBGA ADDvisor Services Leader and report co-author, Laura Ely, commented: “The current AM production supply chain is fragmented. This study validates that Neighborhood 91’s centralised campus will significantly reduce cost and the need to manage parts across a dispersed supply chain.”
TBGA Founder and Managing Director, John Barnes said: “A cluster does two key things: It enables process owners to focus on developing and optimising their core process, and it creates a skilled regional labour pool.”
Plans for Neighborhood 91 were released in October last year. Key aspects of the cluster include argon gas recycling, powder production, powder facility for storage, part manufacturing and post processing, including heat treatment. Argon gas supplier Arencibia has become the first Neighbourhood 91 tenant, while the University of Pittsburgh and Barnes Group Advisors are named as partners.