Innovative Technology Improves Jet Engine Fuel Efficiency
- $16.7 million expansion in coating capabilities to improve performance of blades and vanes in hot section of bestselling, next-generation jet engines
- Construction to begin this month, production expected in 2016
- Investment supported by customer agreements
- Supports Company’s strategy to grow aerospace business, capture demand for advanced jet engine parts
NEW YORK & WHITEHALL, Mich. — (BUSINESS WIRE) — December 11, 2014 — Alcoa Power and Propulsion, a unit of lightweight, high-performance metals leader Alcoa (NYSE: AA), is doubling its high-technology coating capacity at its Whitehall, Michigan facility. The $16.7 million investment will position the Company to further capture growing demand for advanced jet engine parts.
The 7,700 sq. ft. building expansion will be located at the Company’s Thermatech plant in Whitehall where it produces thermal coated parts that enable engines to run at higher temperatures, boosting engine efficiencies. The coating also extends the operating life of jet engine parts by protecting against oxidation and corrosion.
“Alcoa is a global leader in the production of airfoil jet engine components,” said Mike Pepper, President of Alcoa Power and Propulsion. “This expansion will enable us to continue providing our high level of service as we meet growing demands for our high-tech, Thermatech-coated parts that enable enhanced fuel efficiency.”
Alcoa will install a new electron beam physical vapor deposition machine to boost capacity, which enables faster production by combining two important processes: the bond coat and the top coat. Construction will begin this month, with first production expected to begin in 2016. The expansion will create 25 new full-time jobs. Customer agreements underpin the new capacity.
The combination of advanced coatings and internal cooling schemes make it possible for investment cast airfoils to operate in an environment that reaches temperatures much greater than the airfoils’ melting point. In addition to jet engines, the coating process is applied to parts used to build industrial gas turbines.
The expansion supports Alcoa’s strategy of profitably growing its aerospace business, which achieved revenues totaling $4 billion in 2013 and is in line with Company strategy to build its value-add businesses to capture profitable growth in high-growth industries. The Company projects a compounded annual commercial jet growth rate of 7 percent through 2019 and sees a current 9-year production order book at 2013 delivery rates.
Demonstrating its support for the expansion, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation awarded a state business development grant to Alcoa totaling $285,000.
“As the largest manufacturing company in Muskegon County, Alcoa continues to be a leader in the aerospace industry and is home to the most advanced aerospace manufacturing facility in the world,” said Ed Garner, President & CEO of Muskegon Area First Economic Development Corp.
About Alcoa Power and Propulsion
Alcoa Power and Propulsion, a major business unit of Alcoa, is a global leader in superalloy airfoil and titanium and aluminum structural investment castings. Serving the aerospace, defense, energy and industrial markets, its products are primarily used in jet engines and industrial gas turbines. Additional value-added products and services include additive manufacturing, hot isostatic pressing, specialty coatings, research and development, supply chain management, specialty tools, molds, and machinery. With 25 production facilities, Alcoa Power and Propulsion employs more than 9,000 people worldwide.
A global leader in lightweight metals engineering and manufacturing, Alcoa innovates multi-material solutions that advance our world. Our technologies enhance transportation, from automotive and commercial transport to air and space travel, and improve industrial and consumer electronics products. We enable smart buildings, sustainable food and beverage packaging, high-performance defense vehicles across air, land and sea, deeper oil and gas drilling and more efficient power generation. We pioneered the aluminum industry over 125 years ago, and today, our approximately 62,000 people in 30 countries deliver value-add products made of titanium, nickel and aluminum, and produce best-in-class bauxite, alumina and primary aluminum products. For more information, visit www.alcoa.com, follow @Alcoa on Twitter at www.twitter.com/Alcoa and follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/Alcoa.
About Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC)
For more on the MEDC and its initiatives, visit michiganbusiness.org. For Michigan travel news, updates and information, visit michigan.org. Michigan residents interested in seeking employment with any of Michigan’s growing companies should check mitalent.org, where more than 85,000 jobs are currently available in a variety of industries.
This release contains statements that relate to future events and
expectations and as such constitute forward-looking statements within
the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.
Forward-looking statements include those containing such words as
“anticipates,” “estimates,” “expects,” “forecasts,” “plans,” “projects,”
“sees,” “should,” “will,” or other words of similar meaning. All
statements that reflect Alcoa’s expectations, assumptions or projections
about the future other than statements of historical fact are
forward-looking statements, including, without limitation, statements
regarding Alcoa’s strategy, objectives, expectations, and intentions
regarding growing its aerospace capabilities and business; the
improvement in performance of jet engines achieved by Alcoa’s advanced
manufacturing and process technologies; forecasts concerning demand
growth in the commercial aerospace sector, and the expected timing for
completion of expansion of coating capabilities and first production
from such expansion at Alcoa’s Whitehall, Michigan facility and increase
in employment levels. Forward-looking statements are subject to a number
of known and unknown risks, uncertainties, and other factors and are not
guarantees of future performance. Important factors that could cause
actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied in
the forward-looking statements include: unfavorable changes in the
markets served by Alcoa, including the aerospace market; failure to
successfully implement, or to realize expected benefits from, new
technologies, processes, equipment or innovative products, including
innovative technology to improve jet engine fuel efficiency, whether due
to competitive developments, failure to meet specifications, changes in
the regulatory environment, trends and developments in the aerospace,
metals engineering, and manufacturing sectors, or other factors; and the
other risk factors discussed in Alcoa’s Form 10-K for the year ended
December 31, 2013 and other reports filed with the Securities and
Exchange Commission. Alcoa disclaims any intention or obligation to
update publicly any forward-looking statements, whether in response to
new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by