NEW YORK & DAVENPORT, Iowa--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Lightweight metals leader Alcoa (NYSE: AA) today announced a $190 million investment at its Davenport Works, Iowa, facility to expand its product offerings in the aerospace and industrial markets. Alcoa is installing manufacturing technology to enhance the performance of thick aluminum and aluminum-lithium plate in various applications, including wing ribs and fuselage frames.
The investment in the Davenport rolling mill is the installation of a new ‘very thick plate stretcher’. The stretching process reduces stress introduced into the plate as part of the manufacturing process, resulting in a part that can more easily be machined and processed. This advancement will enable Davenport Works to produce the largest high-strength monolithic wing ribs in the industry. For example, as composite wings get larger, one of the challenges is strength and stiffness, and the aluminum plate from this stretcher will enable Alcoa to make wing ribs to address that issue.
“This project is a key driver for our continued growth in the aerospace plate market,” said Mark Vrablec, President of Alcoa Aerospace Transportation & Industrial Products (ATI). “New airplane designs feature thicker aluminum wing ribs– especially important to reinforce composite wings – and these enhancements will be possible with Alcoa thick plate products. The capability will also benefit our industrial customers who make injection molded plastic parts for the automotive, transportation and consumer electronics industries.”
The addition will enable Alcoa to serve the existing plate market while also providing airframe builders with the ability to make large wing ribs, fuselage frames and bulkheads using Alcoa thick plate. In addition, aluminum plate can be used to make the molds for plastics manufacturing, displacing steel as the incumbent material because of better thermal conductivity. It can also be used on manufacturing chambers for the consumer electronics and semiconductor industries.
The investment is consistent with the Company’s strategy to build out its value-add businesses to capture profitable growth. On October 8, Alcoa said it continues to project 2014 global aerospace sales growth of 8 to 9 percent driven by robust demand for both large commercial aircraft and regional jets.
Construction on the project will begin in 2015 with first customer production expected to begin in 2017.
A global leader in lightweight metals technology, engineering and manufacturing, Alcoa innovates multi-material solutions that advance our world. Our technologies enhance transportation, from automotive and commercial transport to air and space travel, and improve industrial and consumer electronics products. We enable smart buildings, sustainable food and beverage packaging, high-performance defense vehicles across air, land and sea, deeper oil and gas drilling and more efficient power generation. We pioneered the aluminum industry over 125 years ago, and today, our 60,000 people in 30 countries deliver value-add products made of titanium, nickel and aluminum, and produce best-in-class bauxite, alumina and primary aluminum products. For more information, visit www.alcoa.com, follow @Alcoa on Twitter at www.twitter.com/Alcoa and follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/Alcoa.
This release contains “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements include those containing such words as “estimates,” “expects,” “plans,” “projects,” “may,” “should,” “will,” or other words of similar meaning. All statements that reflect Alcoa’s expectations, assumptions, or projections about the future other than statements of historical fact are forward-looking statements, including, without limitation, statements regarding the benefits of Alcoa’s advancements in aerospace and industrial manufacturing, and the expected timing for completion of construction of Alcoa’s very thick plate stretcher at its Davenport Works, Iowa facility and first customer production; and statements regarding Alcoa’s strategies, outlook, and business and financial prospects. Forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and are subject to risks, uncertainties, and changes in circumstances that are difficult to predict. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied in the forward-looking statements include: (a) unfavorable changes in general economic conditions or in the markets served by Alcoa, including the aerospace and aluminum plate markets; (b) failure to successfully implement, or to realize expected benefits from, new technologies, advanced manufacturing processes, equipment, advanced alloys, including aluminum-lithium, or other innovative products and solutions, whether due to competitive developments, changes in the regulatory environment, trends and developments in the aerospace, metals engineering and manufacturing sectors, or other factors; and (c) the other risk factors discussed in Alcoa’s Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2013, and other reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Alcoa disclaims any intention or obligation to update publicly any forward-looking statements, whether in response to new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by applicable law.