ITT Exelis (Salt Lake City, Utah, USA) on Aug. 16 celebrated the grand opening of its composites design and manufacturing center Thursday in Salt Lake City, Utah. The new facility provides increased capacity and enhanced automation capability for advanced commercial and military composite aircraft structures.
“Strong demand from our domestic and international customers has fueled this expansion,” says Jim Barber, vice president and general manager of the Exelis Integrated Structures business. “This facility leverages our core strengths and capabilities as we invest in new technologies to meet the needs of our customers and the aerospace industry.”
Composite structures are used increasingly by airframers as a proven alternative to metal structural parts on commercial and military aircraft, as well as on unmanned aerial vehicles. These structures add value because they help decrease an aircraft’s weight and fuel consumption and increase its resilience to environmental conditions and in-flight stress. With the company’s new facility, Exelis will be better positioned to meet customers’ growing needs for composites.
“With the addition of automated fiber placement and tape laying capability combined with high-speed machining, inspection and assembly, Exelis is positioned to provide optimal composite solutions more efficiently,” says Barber.
The expansion aligns with the company’s strategy to invest strategically in broad-based government and commercial solutions, such as aerostructures and air traffic management. By adding 250,000 ft2/23,226m2 to its Salt Lake City footprint and hiring 100 employees during the past year, Exelis is taking the necessary steps to meet military and commercial customer demand.
“Today’s grand opening is evidence that industry is thriving in Utah,” says Utah Governor Gary Herbert. “The investment Exelis has made will benefit Utah’s economy and reputation as a technology leader for years to come. It is a great pleasure to be associated with a company that includes a dynamic workforce, dedicated suppliers and top tier customers who share in the same vision.”
“The Exelis expansion demonstrates the power of industry and government partnerships,” says Spencer Eccles, executive director of the Governor’s Office for Economic Development. “We are proud to support the growth of Exelis and the state of Utah.”
Exelis has more than 40 years of experience in the design and manufacturing of composite structures and assemblies in Utah. Along with producing parts for military applications, such as the F-35 Lightning II and the Marine Corps’ heavy lift helicopter, the CH-53K, Exelis provides engines to GE for a wide variety of aircraft and vacuum tanks for several of the Boeing 7-series jets.