In May, leading aerospace manufacturer Alcoa broke ground on its $100 million aerospace expansion in La Porte, Ind., where it will produce cast nickel-based superalloy jet engine parts. The new 320,000-sq.-ft. facility will expand Alcoa’s reach from structural engine components for business and regional jets to large commercial aircraft, including narrow- and wide-body and military airplanes. Engines for narrow-body aircraft are among the top selling jet engines in the world.
“Aerospace growth is soaring and Alcoa is ramping up our downstream capabilities to capture that demand,” said Alcoa Chairman and CEO Klaus Kleinfeld. “Applying our industry-leading expertise, this facility will deliver highly engineered parts our customers need to build some of the bestselling engines and at high volumes.”
The plant will increase Alcoa’s capacity to supply engines for narrow-body aircraft and enable it to produce parts nearly 60% larger than components it makes today, expanding its market reach to wide-body airplanes.
Construction of the plant is underway and is expected to be complete by the fourth quarter of 2015. The facility will use the latest in high-tech advanced manufacturing equipment, including digital X-ray for real-time quality assurance, 3-D printing of prototypes, blue light technology for more comprehensive dimensional inspection data, and automated casting furnaces with advanced controls to meet precise product specifications.
The expansion should create 329 jobs by 2019.
Alcoa is a leading supplier of structural castings made of titanium, aluminum and nickel-based superalloys, which are produced by its downstream business, Engineered Products and Solutions (EPS).