Aerospace Pioneer Expands Alabama Plant

Carpenter Technology officials and Alabama economic development officials cut the ribbon on the Emerging Technology Center Dec. 4.

Proof of Alabama’s rapid rise in aerospace manufacturing was furthered last week with an additional $40 million investment by Carpenter Technology at the $500 million plant that opened in Athens in 2014.

Carpenter is a pioneer in the fabrication of premium specialty alloys essential to advanced, lightweight aircraft.

Parts made by Carpenter have ridden with the Wright Brothers, the Spirit of St. Louis and every U.S. Space program.

The plant’s new, 500,000-square-foot Emerging Technology Center “is a critical component of Carpenter Technology’s future growth and development,” said Chief Executive Officer Tony Thene, reasserting the strategic significance of the Alabama plant — which is the 131 year-old company’s first greenfield plant outside of its home in Redding, Pennsylvania.

“We will also use it as a base to launch future investments, as we expand our soft magnetics technology platform, scale up additional powder operations and demonstrate a number of next generation materials we have under development today,” said Thene.

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Carpenter’s ETC is North America’s newest additive manufacturing facility possessing end-to-end capabilities. The ETC provides the capability to atomize a range of specialty alloys into metal powder and manufacture the powder into finished parts using AM technology (3D metal printing).

Carpenter chose Alabama for its first expansion plant six years ago after a site search that assessed 200 possible locations. “Spending time at the robotics center and the local tech schools really and truly sold us on Alabama,” Senior Vice President of Global Operations Dave Strobel told Business Alabama in 2014, “and we couldn’t be more thrilled as we’ve gotten to know the people better. We are convinced we made the right choice.”

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