Arconic completed the installation of its new manufacturing technology — the Very Thick Plate Stretcher. Located at the company’s facility in Davenport, Iowa, the stretcher improves the performance of thick aluminum and aluminum-lithium plate in aerospace and industrial applications. The stretching process reduces stress introduced into the plate as part of the manufacturing process, resulting in a part that is more easily machined and processed by customers.
Arconic officials on Tuesday announced the company has completed the installation of its new manufacturing technology, the Very Thick Plate Stretcher, at its Davenport facility. The Stretcher produces highly-differentiated aerospace and industrial plate. The investment in the Stretcher is backed by customer contracts, including one with Airbus, valued at approximately $1 billion. The project was completed on time with an investment of approximately $150 million, approximately $40 million under budget. The Stretcher improves the performance of thick aluminum and aluminum-lithium plate in aerospace and industrial applications, reducing stress introduced into the plate as part of the manufacturing process and resulting in a part that is more easily machined and processed by customers. According to a company news release, the Stretcher will allow Arconic, formerly Alcoa, to service the existing aerospace plate market while letting airframe builders make large wing ribs, fuselage frames and bulkheads in new sizes and thickness. “This investment was made to expand Arconic’s leadership in the aerospace market and create profitable growth in attractive industrial markets,” said Arconic Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Klaus Kleinfeld. “The Stretcher allows Arconic to offer a variety of new products: in aerospace, we can now help aircraft engineers push the boundaries of design and performance. “In other industrial applications, such as semiconductors and consumer electronics, Stretcher material helps increase productivity and reduce cost,” he said. “In both cases, Arconic will help create demand that we are uniquely positioned to meet. And making all of this possible is our team in Davenport, who delivered this massive project on time and $40 million under budget.” Arconic’s Davenport facility has begun qualifying material for its customers. Product shipments to aerospace customers are expected to begin in the fourth quarter. The Stretcher also can be used to make some of the thickest, longest and widest plate for plastics manufacturing molds and on manufacturing chambers for the consumer electronics and semiconductor industries. Product shipments to industrial customers are expected to begin in the second quarter.