ATK set to open new composites center in Utah

ATK's newest composites manufacturing facility in Clearfield, Utah, will feature automated stiffener-forming technology, large-diameter autoclaves, CNC machining centers and non-destructive inspection systems.

ATK (Minneapolis, Minn., USA) announced at the Paris Air Show on June 20 that it is nearing completion of its state-of-the-art Aircraft Commercial Center of Excellence (ACCE) in Clearfield, Utah. The new facility will serve as the headquarters for ATK Aerospace Structures' commercial aircraft programs and will support the manufacturing of commercial airframes and engine components for the Airbus A350, and General Electric and Rolls-Royce engine programs.

The new consolidated manufacturing center measures 615,000 ft2/57,135m2 and will increase capability and capacity by creating a full-spectrum engineering and manufacturing center for commercial composite aircraft structures and components. The facility has been designed to meet the demands of the commercial aircraft marketplace with the capability of manufacturing more than 10,000 parts per month at rate production levels.

The facility will feature patented, automated stiffener-forming technology for linear and radial airframe structures capable of producing 40,000m/25 miles of composite structures per month, large-diameter autoclaves capable of curing parts more than 22m/72 ft in length, engine case wrap capability and assembly, CNC machining, water jet capability and automated ultrasonic and non-destructive inspection systems.

"Our aircraft composite business has grown substantially over the last several years and this new facility will take us to the next level," said Blake Larson, president of ATK Aerospace Systems Group. "The ACCE facility will increase our capacity dramatically and enable us to grow our roles in commercial aircraft for both domestic and international markets."

"This commercial aircraft facility is the foundation of ATK's commitment to meeting the accelerating global demand of composites on commercial aircraft," said Joy de Lisser, vice president and general manager of ATK Aerospace Structures Division. "Locating the ACCE in Utah provided us the opportunity to co-locate our design, engineering and technical talent with our existing facilities. Utah has provided an excellent business environment."

Final construction will finish in July 2011. ATK will hold a grand opening in August.