GKN Aerospace, which has its U.S. headquarters in Irving, will relocate its North America additive manufacturing center of excellence to the Lone Star Commerce Center in Fort Worth.
According to a recent news release, the company said the move will strengthen its position as an additive technology leader with a larger facility, plans for an additional larger AM cell, and increased collaboration within the aerospace ecosystem.
“We are very excited to bring our additive technology research to Fort Worth. With proximity to many of our major customers in Texas and across the US, this is the right place for GKN Aerospace,” Shawn Black, GKN Aerospace’s president of defense, said in a statement. “Along with partnership with local government, we look forward to expanding our titanium additive manufacturing capabilities and pushing the boundaries of this technology for our customers and the aerospace industry.”
At first, the 100,000 square-foot facility will house research and development of laser metal deposition with wire (LMD-w) additive manufacturing technology for large-scale titanium aerostructures, the company said.
GKN said that early next year, it will transfer existing equipment and personnel from Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s Manufacturing Demonstration Facility in Tennessee to the new site in Fort Worth. Over the next few years, GKN Aerospace expects to transform the facility into its fourth Global Technology Center to complement existing centers in Sweden, the Netherlands, and the UK, the company said.
GKN Aerospace will renovate the Tarrant County facility with office space and equipment over the next two years, while the city of Fort Worth will provide grant funding based on qualified R&D investment, the company said. Once at full capacity, GKN Aerospace said the center will support up to 100 personnel.
“Fort Worth is proud to welcome GKN Aerospace and excited by the cutting-edge R&D that it will bring to the region,” Robert Sturns, director of economic development for the city of Fort Worth, said in a statement. “This center of excellence builds on a strong cluster of Fort Worth-based firms who are innovating the future of aerospace and transportation manufacturing, and we look forward to the partnership that we are building with GKN Aerospace.”
GKN Aerospace is a world leader in LMD-w technology and has decades of experience in advanced aero-engine component development and large aerostructure expertise, with additive manufacturing components currently flying on platforms across the civil, engines, and space markets, the company said.
Recently, the company said it achieved a milestone by completing its largest titanium AM demonstration part to date, with the production of a component measuring 8 feet and processed from roughly 100 pounds of titanium wire.
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