Wabtec, a company that uses GE Additive technology and that has big ambitions for sustainability in the rail industry, has just started operations at Neighborhood 91, the additive manufacturing production campus at Pittsburgh International Airport’s Innovation Campus.
The new 11,000-sq-ft facility builds upon Wabtec’s efforts to drive innovation in the rail industry through its growing additive manufacturing capabilities.
“Advances in additive technology are changing the way we design and build the next generation of business-critical, sustainable products for our customers,” said Eric Gebhardt, Wabtec’s Chief Technology Officer. “Neighborhood 91 and its one-of-a-kind additive ecosystem will help foster creative solutions to engineering challenges and breakthroughs in 3D printing. Our Neighborhood 91 facility and the other additive labs in Western Pennsylvania will accelerate new innovations that shrink lead times, reduce cost and increase reliability.”
Wabtec’s site at Neighborhood 91 features an SLM®800 printer, which will produce state-of-the-art, large-scale, lightweight parts for rail industry customers. Production will include metal aluminum transit components like brake parts, heat sinks for freight locomotives, among many other rail applications. Applying additive manufacturing technology to some of these applications will reduce lead times by up to 80 percent.
The new facility is part of Wabtec’s initiative to use additive manufacturing to provide parts faster, with a simplified supply chain, applying advanced features that improve the application, all at a competitive price point. The company plans to use additive technologies to produce over 25,000 parts by 2025 in support of the internal supply chain.
“To have a hometown Fortune 500 company like Wabtec continue to expand here in additive manufacturing is a win for the airport and our region,” said Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald. “Thanks to Wabtec for being a great regional partner, and we look forward to the continued growth at Neighborhood 91.”
As a reminder, Neighborhood 91 is connects all components of the additive manufacturing and 3D-printing supply chain into one powerful production ecosystem. 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 additive supply chain ranging from the powders to production, testing, analysis and delivery. Neighborhood 91 tenants gain efficiencies in production, cost savings from on-demand printing, and access to a major international airport.
“Part of the vision for Neighborhood 91 is to highlight the assets of the region right at the airport so we can build on community strengths,” said Allegheny County Airport Authority CEO Christina Cassotis. “For Wabtec, a global manufacturing leader, to choose Neighborhood 91 for its advanced manufacturing is a sign that our region has all it needs to be a leader in this space. I thank Wabtec for their leadership and partnership.”
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