US-based Pratt & Whitney
, a world leader in the design, manufacture and service of aircraft and helicopter engines, and auxiliary power units, announced plans last week to invest at least $650 million in a world-class turbine airfoil production facility in Asheville, North Carolina.
The new, 1,000,000ft2
facility will house an advanced casting foundry for the production of turbine airfoils as well as conduct machining, coating and finishing of airfoils onsite.
Chris Calio, president, Pratt & Whitney, said: “This investment will enable Pratt & Whitney to continue to modernise and transform its operations with cutting-edge technologies. Turbine airfoils are a critical component across our engine portfolio and demand will increase significantly as the market recovers over the next several years.
“We need to invest today to ensure that we have the infrastructure, production capabilities and workforce in place to meet future market demand and provide the best products to our customers world-wide. We are grateful for the support provided by the State of North Carolina and the local community.” Best-in-class manufacturing technologies
The investment is intended to create 800 new jobs through 2027 in Buncombe County. The new ‘state of the art’ facility will implement best-in-class manufacturing technologies and processes exemplifying industry 4.0 manufacturing principles and will complement existing turbine airfoil work that is done across Pratt & Whitney’s facilities.
“This investment directly supports Pratt & Whitney’s goal to transform its business and strengthen its position by implementing modern solutions to prepare for the future, while reducing structural costs to emerge from the pandemic stronger.
North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper said: “We are positioning North Carolina to come out of this pandemic with these and other good paying jobs which signals a bright future in aviation even with the current challenges the industry faces. Manufacturers know they can count on our strong workforce, our innovation and our leadership in uncertain times.”
North Carolina commerce secretary Anthony M. Copeland said: “North Carolina’s leadership in aerospace may have started with the Wright Brothers, but make no mistake, this industry is a vibrant part of our state’s modern economy, as this announcement proves. We welcome Pratt & Whitney’s new investment in North Carolina.”
Pratt and Whitney is a division of Raytheon Technologies Corp