Collins Aerospace, an RTX business, opened a $14 million expansion of its additive manufacturing center in West Des Moines, Iowa, recently. The 9,000-square-foot addition provides space for the site to house several new 3D metal printers. The first printer installed has eight times the build volume of the facility’s existing printers, significantly increasing the center’s additive manufacturing capabilities.
“From supporting the backlog in commercial aircraft to enabling future platforms, and reducing carbon emissions to providing supply chain relief, additive manufacturing is poised to play an integral role in the future of the aerospace and defense industry,” said Renee Begley, West Des Moines site lead for Collins Aerospace. “Additive manufacturing has the potential to help us reduce weight, complexity, lead time and cost in the parts we supply, and this expansion represents an investment in our business to help deliver those benefits to our customers.”
Collins’ West Des Moines facility will design and produce engine components for commercial and military aircraft. The company says the new printers will allow the site to explore additive production of these components, building on the multiple land-based turbine components it already has in production. Additionally, the facility is one of only eight in the U.S. to receive the National Aerospace and Defense Contractors Accreditation Program (NADCAP) certification for Additive Manufacturing.
“Since 1933 when Collins was founded in Cedar Rapids, Iowa has been proud to be a home to this global manufacturing powerhouse,” stated Governor Kim Reynolds. “Today’s expansion in West Des Moines is a testament to the commitment Collins Aerospace has made to our state, and we’re equally committed to providing the strong economic environment that will fuel its innovation here for decades more to come.”
Collins Aerospace says additive manufacturing is a critical focus area for their business and maintains a network of additive production centers in Iowa, Minnesota, North Carolina and Singapore, along with an additive research center in Connecticut.