This article was originally published on Metal AM on October 19, 2020.
Wabtec Corporation, Wilmerding, Pennsylvania, USA, has announced that it will join Neighborhood 91, the Additive Manufacturing production campus at Pittsburgh’s International Airport Innovation Campus, as its first ‘anchor tenant’.
Neighborhood 91 is thought to be the first development in the world to both condense and connect all components of the Additive Manufacturing supply chain into one production ecosystem. As the first manufacturing anchor tenant at Neighborhood 91, Wabtec builds upon its growing AM capabilities and footprint in western Pennsylvania, which includes AM labs in Erie and Grove City.
“Additive technology is a key focus area for us that provides new capabilities to drive innovation where traditional manufacturing could not,” stated Eric Gebhardt, Wabtec’s Chief Technology Officer.
“This agreement continues our investment in resources that enable our engineers to design new and complex products for the industries we serve. As the first development in the world to connect all elements of the additive manufacturing supply chain into a single location, Neighborhood 91 is the ideal location to fully realise the potential of this technology.”
Wabtec will employ metal AM technology to produce large-scale, lightweight parts for transit rail customers, reducing lead times by up to 80%. Production will include aluminium transit components like brake parts and heat sinks for freight locomotives. By 2025, the company plans to use AM in the production of over 25,000 parts.
“Wabtec’s commitment to Neighborhood 91 is the latest example of our region continuing to move forward even in a pandemic,” commented Rich Fitzgerald, Allegheny County Executive . “A Fortune 500 company, Wabtec’s decision to select Neighborhood 91 for its next manufacturing facility is a huge step for the development and Pittsburgh International Airport.”
The Neighborhood 91 concept is based on co-located capital resources at the core of the development. It will house a complete end-to-end ecosystem offering:
- Powder, parts, post-production, testing and analysis
- Common powder storage facilities
- Efficiencies in production/post-production and delivery
- Tenants’ clients cost savings from on-demand AM
- Reduced transportation costs
- Airport access
- Argon, helium and other noble gases.
“Part of our vision as an airport is to advance the region’s role as a world leader,” explained Christina Cassotis, Pittsburgh International Airport CEO. “Additive Manufacturing is looking for a place to call home and now, with Neighborhood 91, that vision is becoming reality.”
Neighborhood 91, developed in conjunction with the University of Pittsburgh, is the first development of the 195-acre Pittsburgh Airport Innovation Campus. Wabtec will occupy more than 1,000 m2 of space at Neighborhood 91, which is currently under construction and targeting completion by Spring 2021.
The company will reportedly be able to ship parts immediately from the airport to any location in the world within twenty-four hours, improving supply chain performance and cutting transportation costs.