Dallas-Based ATI Dives Deeper Into Naval Defense With Plans for New Additive Manufacturing Facility

ATI's deal with Bechtel Plant Machinery, an organization that supports the Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program, taps the company's proprietary technology and expertise in "highly engineered" part solutions. A new secure facility in Florida, which includes large-format metal manufacturing, will be built for the project.

Specialty manufacturer ATI is diving deeper into naval defense with the award of a new contract from Bechtel Plant Machinery to engineer components supporting the U.S. Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program.

To fulfill the contract, ATI is set to open a state-of-the-art additive manufacturing facility near Fort Lauderdale, Florida, the company announced.

The Dallas-based company, which creates advanced materials and parts for the aerospace, defense, electronics, medical, and energy industries, leverages its proprietary tech to help customers’ products “fly higher, dive deeper, and stand stronger.”

A focus on metal additive manufacturing—and ‘novel powder alloys’

Kim Fields, president and COO of ATI, says the company’s latest collaboration will tap into its advanced manufacturing methods, primarily metal additive manufacturing. “Within one facility, we’re combining the latest additive and advanced manufacturing technologies and ATI’s novel powder alloys,” Fields said in a statement.

The integration will allow ATI to “maximize its ability to deliver advanced additively manufactured materials and components by turning them into parts that further the defense industry,” according to the COO.

The venture capitalizes on ATI’s capabilities, such as producing mission-critical parts in its ATI Forged Projects group. That expertise will merge with ATI Specialty Materials, known as a leader in powder alloy innovation. 

“Our customers increasingly require more robust and versatile materials and components, produced in an ecologically sustainable manner,” Fields said. “This facility will deliver both.”

Operations slated to begin by mid-2024

ATI Additive Manufacturing Products will offer large-scale metal additive manufacturing, heat treating, machining, and inspection services within a secure environment, according to a news release. The facility will be built with growth in mind, ready for expansion in assembling final components using additive manufacturing technologies.

The facility is projected to begin operations by mid-2024.

Barb Staniscia, president and general manager of BPMI, sees the potential in additive manufacturing to increase warfighting capability faster. It “offers tremendous advantages to our program,” from accelerated ship construction to reduced costs, she says.

“Metal additive manufacturing is driving necessary improvements in lead time, design, and performance for the U.S. Navy,” Staniscia said in the news release.

BPMI, or Bechtel Plant Machinery Inc., operates as a project engineering organization supporting the Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program. It’s a subsidiary of Bechtel National Inc., the U.S. government services division of Bechtel Corp.

Planned with future expansion in mind

ATI’s new facility will have state-of-the-art tools, from advanced large-format metal additive manufacturing to heat treating, machining, and precise inspection capabilities. The facility is planned with future expansion in mind, aiming to enhance its additive manufacturing technologies, according to the company.

ATI, with a tagline of “Proven to Perform,” aims to solve industry challenges through materials science. The company’s customers “blaze the trail of what’s possible,” according to COO Fields.

The company said it’s “honored to partner with BPMI in developing and producing the materials and components that make these extraordinary achievements possible,” she said.

Fields, who joined ATI in 2019, was promoted to president and COO in June 2023. Currently, Fields oversees global operations, leveraging leaders and integrating business across the company’s units.

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