Collins Aerospace breaks ground on 14 million USD expansion of additive manufacturing center in Iowa

Last week on July 21, Collins Aerospace broke ground on a 14 million USD expansion of its additive manufacturing center in West Des Moines, Iowa.

The 9,000-square-foot expansion will allow Collins to make room for more 3D metal printers, in addition to the three that are already on the site.

The first new printer that is being installed will have eight times the build volume of the existing printers and Collins expects it to be fully operational in late 2023.

The 41,000 square-foot facility in West Des Moines is said to be a world leader in the design and production of fuel nozzles for commercial and military aircraft. The new machines will be used to enhance current production capabilities and expand the portfolio of metals it uses to additively produce 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,” said Renee Bagley, West Des Moines site lead for Collins Aerospace.

Bagley also said: “Compared to traditional manufacturing, additive offers several key benefits as the optimised designs not only reduce cost but can also reduce delivery lead times. 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.”

The news comes less than a month after Collins Aerospace announced the opening of a new additive manufacturing center at its campus in Monroe, North Carolina, a facility that recently underwent a 30 million USD expansion and received a further 15 million USD of funding.

West Des Moines Mayor Russ Trimble noted that Collins has maintained a presence in West Des Moines in one form or another for 70 years, he said: “It’s wonderful to see them reaffirm their commitment to their West Des Moines operation in such an innovative way. ”

Additive manufacturing is a critical focus area for Collins. To support the next generation of aircraft, Collins maintains a global network of additive production centers in Iowa, Minnesota, North Carolina and Singapore and an additive research center in Connecticut.

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