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Norsk Titanium’s Plattsburgh Facility Will Be the World’s First Industrial-Scale Aerospace Additive Manufacturing Facility

by • July 11, 2016 • No Comments

Norsk_Titanium_horizontalTowards the end of last year, Norway-based Norsk Titanium got individuals talking here in the US when they revealed their plan to create a giant, multi-million-dollar additive producing plant in Plattsburgh, New York, excellently growing their business and creating lots of new jobs. This week, the company released new details of the planned facility, and yes, it’s going to be big – and it’s going to involve big money. Norsk plans to invest $1 billion into the facility over the upcoming 10 years, and the State of New York has invested $125 million.

20_Norsk_Titanium_Merke_IV_for_New_YorkWhat’s additional, according to Norsk, the facility can be the world’s initially industrial-scale aerospace additive producing plant. Aerospace is one of the company’s prime areas of focus, and in the 2nd quarter of 2015 they shipped 2.4 metric tons of titanium aerospace parts for certification testing – thanks to their patented Rapid Plasma Deposition (RPD) innovation, which involves melting titanium wire in a set of plasma torches surrounded by argon, producing parts with the equivalent durablity of forgings at a fraction of the cost and time required. The State of New York has may already invested in 20 of Norsk Titanium’s MERKE IV RPD machines, in addition to releasing $4 million for the facility’s construction thus far.

“Norsk can do a couple of things: One, it can infuse our economy with up to 400 good-paying jobs,” Plattsburgh Town Supervisor Michael Cashman, who defined the RPD innovation as “magical” to watch, told WPTZ.com. “The other part to it is, this company is the initially in the world, as far as the products its producing, so it continues to put our region on the map…Plattsburgh is may already on the move and a few excellent things are going to unfold in the weeks, months and years to come.”

The MERKE IV has been in development for 10 years, and it’s expected to save millions of dollars in not just aerospace production, but in car and naval producing as well.

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Artist’s rendering of the production floor

“Today marks the beginning of a new era in the way aircraft, marine vessels, automobiles, spacecraft and most industrial products are created and built,” said Norsk Titanium President & Chief Executive Officer Warren M. Boley, Jr. “Not just are we creating jobs, massive economic impact and excellent visibility for the wider Plattsburgh community, we are in addition producing history by kicking off a new phase of on-demand, near-net-shape producing which sets a new benchmark of efficiency and customer responsiveness.”

The plant is expected to be operational by the end of 2017, and it can open in partnership with the SUNY Polytechnic Institute. The initially 20 MERKE IV machines are expected to create 400 metric tons of aerospace-grade structural titanium components, and Norsk anticipates ultimately doubling those amounts to 40 machines and 800 metric tons of parts.

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Artist’s rendering of the Norsk production facility

In addition to the job creation and economic development provided by the production facility, Norsk Titanium can in addition impact the Plattsburgh region through workforce training and STEM outreach programs at SUNY Polytechnic along with other community colleges and schools in the area, with the assist of the North Country Chamber of Commerce.

Today, Norsk Titanium is exhibiting a full-scale mock-up of the MERKE IV at the Farnborough International Airshow, which is running of July 11-15 in Farnborough, England. Discuss additional in the Norsk 3D Printing Facility forum over at 3DPB.com.