Collins Aerospace, headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina, USA, has broken ground on a $14 million expansion of its Additive Manufacturing centre in West Des Moines, Iowa. The increase in floorspace will enable the company to install further metal Additive Manufacturing machines, adding to the three already on site. The first of these machines is anticipated to have eight times the build volume of the existing machines; Collins expects it to be fully operational in late 2023.
Collins’ West Des Moines facility designs and produces fuel nozzles for commercial and military aircraft. The company will use the new machines to enhance current production capabilities and expand the portfolio of metals it can use to additively manufacture engine components at the site.
“With this expansion, we will significantly increase our Additive Manufacturing capacity and enhance our ability to produce more parts faster for our airframe and engine customers,” stated Renee Begley, West Des Moines site lead for Collins Aerospace. “Compared to traditional manufacturing, additive offers several key benefits as the optimised designs not only reduce cost but can also reduce delivery lead times dramatically. Additive also allows us to produce parts that are much lighter, enabling reduced aircraft fuel consumption and reduced carbon emissions –a key to more sustainable flight.”
Additive Manufacturing is said to be an area of critical focus area for Collins. The company maintains a global network of additive production centres in Iowa, Minnesota, North Carolina, USA; and Singapore, and an Additive Manufacturing research centre in Connecticut, US. In June, the company opened a new Additive Manufacturing centre in Monroe, North Carolina.